The Green Team and the Earth Bench

The Bench Story

The Green Team built a double-sided 10 ft. long bench made entirely out of recycled material, called an Earth Bench. The Earth Bench project itself began in October 2016. The actual ground breaking and construction occurred on May 2, 2017. 

Close up of Bottle Brick

Here you can see some of the bottle bricks the Green Team used to build a sturdy back.

But who is the Green Team anyway? The Green Team is a student organization to help residence halls live ‘greener’. They help organize and maintain the recycling centers on campus. This team also organizes educational events to help encourage a sustainable life outside of campus.

Each spring, open positions for the following academic year are posted to the Housing website. These are a great opportunity to work for a greater cause while getting to work at WOU.

The core of the bench was on display for a time while waiting for the top coating of cement to be laid down. All of the bench was made from salvaged materials. The seat of the bench is constructed with slabs of a recycled cement called urbanite. The back of the bench is made from bricks stuffed to the maximum of other trash. Most noteworthy, the bottles were filled with wrappers, napkins, plastic bags, and other trash that they could stuff the bricks with.

The Earth Bench from the side

Throughout spring term, the Green Team collected all the recycled materials needed to build the bench with help from other organizations around campus. More than 100 bottle bricks were used to construct this bench. 

The Physical Plant helped in the collection process. Members of the Green Team, the Residence hall Association, the Environmental Club, as well as the MV Advancement Recycling Crew spend hours stuffing these bricks. The Physical Plant also assisted in this project by covering the bench in a layer of cement to seal in the bottle bricks and urbanite.

This project was created to courage life-long sustainable practices, among residents and community members. We do have a choice in the actions we take to protect the beautiful place we life. Not everything we do has to be detrimental to the Earth. That is the philosophy of the Green Team.

For more information about sustainable practices, The Green Team, or resources on campus visit wou.edu/greenteam.

Check out the unveiling of the bench today (May 23) at 4 p.m. in the Grove in front of Ackerman Hall.

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