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Campus club works to fight climate crisis – The Western Carolinian

Campus club works to fight climate crisis – The Western Carolinian

Campus club works to fight climate crisis – The Western Carolinian

Western Carolina University’s clubs often tabling in the fountain area to support a variety causes. A new group started advocating for environmental awareness recently. 

Sunrise is a brand new club on campus that is rapidly gaining popularity. They work in the community to raise awareness about the environment and they describe themselves as a ‘youth-led movement against the climate crisis,’ and seek to promote healthy discussion amongst peers.

Knox Hamilton, a sophomore majoring elementary education, is a Sunrise campus coordinator. He gave some insight into Sunrise and its goals as an organization.

Photo credit: @sunrisewcu

“We are a local hub of a national movement. The national movement works to find solutions to the climate crisis, like the Green New Deal, and they work with a lot of progressive politicians like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders,’ Hamilton said. ‘The local hub focuses more on finding local solutions to the climate crisis.” 

 Sunrise provides support to emergency services and local environmental agencies in both Jackson County and Haywood County. 

“Haywood County last semester had terrible flooding from a hurricane, so we’re currently working on developing a relationship with Haywood County EMS to do some river clean up.’ Hamilton said.  ‘The storm caused a lot of damage that they are still cleaning up.” 

Sunrise encourages community members to give back on a local level. 

“We suggest being mindful of what you buy and where you buy from. Big corporations like Walmart are the only way to get stuff around here for the most part, but they are very wasteful,” Hamilton said. 

Mindfulness is a great way to be mindful, especially since many activities we engage in create a lot of waste. Hamilton stressed the importance and impact of recycling on both the WCU community and Jackson County.  

“We are also working on a recycling initiative on campus at the student apartment complexes,” Hamilton said. “Right now, all of our waste for the county and the school gets sent to Georgia. It is a lot of work to get over the mountain. We are paying for it. If we recycled more, we could take our waste to Asheville, which is a lot closer, and we would be getting paid for those recyclables.” 

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Increased recycling in Jackson County would not only reduce waste but also save the county money. Sunrise encourages students to recycle more, as Jackson County does not meet the threshold to allow recycling to be transported to Asheville. 

“If you want to get involved with us specifically, look us up on Instagram. You will find a link to Discord in the bio. This is the best way for you to get involved. It is very active, and anybody is willing to help answer your questions,” Hamilton said.   

Instagram has Sunrise @sunrisewcuThey have established a network of environmentally conscious students to help make a positive change in the local community. 



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