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North Texas Daily

April 12, 2018

Table of Contents




3 “Mean Green,” more than a nickname 3 “Bee” friendly at UNT 4 5

Building on common ground: Habitat for Humanity’s Interfaith Coalition funds 98th Denton County build The acidifation crisis affecting our coeans explained

8 The UNT Community Garden 9 Biopiracy: a threat to the natural world


Contributing Writers Sunday Nester Emma Ream Kayla Padol Sean Rainey Gabriela Macias

Copy Editor Becca Stetson

Photo Contributors Ruben Paquian Gabriela Macias

Designer Sebastian King


10 How recycling works

To advertise with us please contact us at: 2

April 12, 2018

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“Mean Green,” more than a nickname Sunday Nester Contributing Writer

From a nickname to a way of life, UNT has given a new definition to being “Mean Green.” Former UNT Systems Chancellor Lee Jackson explained the motivation behind campus changes. “As a university system, we are committed to building campuses that minimize the use of natural resources and don’t harm the environment,” Jackson said. “We want to provide all students, faculty and staff members on our campuses with buildings that are first class in every way, including reduced environmental impact.” Not only does UNT provide students with the resources necessary in creating a safer environment, but the university also prioritizes creating more environmentally-safe buildings. UNT shows its dedication to “Mean Green” on campus with the design and construction of Apogee Stadium. In 2011, UNT’s Apogee Stadium became the first

college sports stadium to earn a LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Platinum certification. LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world, encouraging companies to be more mindful of how clean energy, water, and resources that support our health can be implemented in day-to-day operations. To receive a designated level of certification, a building must obtain a certain number of points. There are four levels of LEED certification, each of which have a specific range of points. The four levels are as follows: Certified, 40 to 49 points; Silver, 50 to 59 points; Gold, 60 to 79 points; and Platinum, 80+ points. Apogee Stadium is unlike any other college football stadium in that the structure features high-efficiency mechanical systems, water-efficient plumbing and regionally obtained materials that help protect the environment by limiting the emission of carbon dioxide

“Bee” friendly at UNT Emma Ream Contributing Writer

“Save the bees” is a common phrase used to promote bee conservation, but it doesn’t show the whole picture of what “save the bees” means. In this modern era, bees face many problems such

as colony collapse disorder and neurologically-inhibiting pesticides farmers use on their crops. The issues plaguing these insects have caused a major decline in the global bee population, even though some of these factors are preventable. Bees play a major role in our agricultural system

Robin Young holding a fresh chunk of a bee hive. Bees are crawling inside and out of the honeycomb.

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into the atmosphere. The three wind turbines located just south of the football stadium provide a significant portion of Apogee’s electricity. The turbines are estimated to offset energy consumption by six percent. In order for Apogee Stadium to receive its Platinum certification, the building had to meet the highest LEED requirements in transportation, construction site sustainability, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality. With Apogee’s high-performance design, the stadium will have a multitude of benefits including reduced energy consumption by 25 percent and reduced water consumption by more than 52 percent. The changes will also provide the arena with natural lighting in 90 percent of its indoor space. UNT continues to advance sustainable innovations on and off the campus, making “Mean Green” more than just a nickname.

by pollinating almost 80 percent of the crops we grow in the United States and are estimated to contribute $29 billion to agricultural GDP, according to the Cornell Chronicle. In 2016, UNT became a Certified Bee Campus, the first of its kind in Texas and 12th in the United States. This certification placed UNT at the forefront of sustainability, a turning point for the university and students. A certified U.S.A. bee campus affiliate is a campus that commits to a variety of actions, including developing a campus habitat plan, educating the campus and surrounding area and sponsoring service learning projects. UNT has fulfilled many of its Bee Campus Certification commitments in the past several years. The university provided native landscaping, as well hosting the seedball event at EarthFest 2017 and adopting

April 12, 2018

an integrative pest management system and preferred plant list. This certification offers various benefits to the campus and surrounding area by engaging the community, improving local food production and increasing local business opportunities. In UNT’s efforts to create a bee-friendly environment, the university created a “Pollinative Prairie” that serves as a pollinator paradise and contains native Texas grasses and wildflowers. This prairie is a big hit with bees and students alike, allowing students at UNT to put in more than 500 hours of community service into this bee paradise. In addition to the Pollinative Prairie, UNT created a community garden to encourage engagement and education. Community gardens not only create a great way to attract bees for pollination, but also provide fresh food. There is now a gardening

club and gardening lessons are offered twice a month. Although UNT is making great leaps and bounds in promoting wildlife conservation, you too can help save the bees. Buying organic foods from local health food stores or supporting organic small businesses like Denton’s Seven Mile Cafe are easy and tasty ways to save endangered honey bees. If you like gardening, you can try planting the native Texan flower Pink Evening Primrose—a beautiful, practical and bee-friendly way to spruce up your patio or backyard. Nonprofits like the Honeybee Conservancy offer programs to sponsor a hive, allowing anyone who donates to directly help save bees. Whatever way you like to help—big or small—makes a difference in the lives of bees, our agricultural system and our UNT community.


Building on common ground: Habitat for Humanity’s Interfaith Coalition funds 98th Denton County build Kayla Padol

Contributing Writer

An uncommon alliance has formed between Jewish, Muslim, Baha’i and Christian congregations in Denton County. The Interfaith Coalition has united for a common goal, to build a home for a family in need of a decent place to live. “To see all these people from different faiths and backgrounds come together so flawlessly to serve their local community empowers and gives me incredibly high hopes for our county,” Habitat for Humanity Denton County executive director John Montoya said. Seven different faith communities joined together in the spirit of service as Habitat’s Interfaith Coalition to raise almost the entire cost of the 98th build of Habitat for Humanity of Denton County, or HFHDC, a home for the Tarmo family. HFHDC is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization dedicated to eliminating substandard housing through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocacy for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. At the head of the Tarmo family stands Benedict Tarmo, husband and father to his clan. “I bought a trailer for my 4

family to live in,” Tarmo said. “I had no money because I just got my family here from Tanzania. It was awful, bad.” After learning of his substandard housing situation, the city of Denton was able to connect Benedict, his wife Mary and their five children with HFHDC and they were approved to be homeowners. “We provide a permanent housing solution,” Montoya said. “We are building more than just homes, together we are building a community.” Benedict was awarded a United States Visa in 2001 and left his life in Tanzania in 2004 as a doctor to start his life in the US. He wasn’t able to see his family often, but remained hopeful of building them a better future. “I was looking for a high quality life, a good life,” Benedict said. After moving here, his journey was full of hardships. For the first two and a half years he wasn’t able to see his family. He lived with other people who mistreated him and went through many struggles with housing. In 2010, he was granted U.S. citizenship and after nearly a decade-long process, his family was able to move here in 2012. Now, the Tarmo’s are seeing that better future as construction begins on their home. “It is because of all of you that this is possible,” Bene-

dict said. “On behalf of my land. entire family, thank you and If you would like to inquire thank you so much.” about becoming a homeThe Tarmo’s home will be owner, donating to HFHbuilt by construction workers, volunteers and the Tarmo family themselves. The home will then be bought at cost with a zero percent interest rate because of the financial support of HFHDC and the Interfaith Coalition. “Despite all the adversity and strife our nation is dealing with, hundreds of North Texans are embracing each other to build homes for families like the Tarmos,” Montoya said. One family at a time, Habitat for Humanity works toward a sion of creating a world where everyone has a decent place to live. “To be able to walk alongside our partner families hand in hand while they achieve their dreams is one of the most empowering emotions you will ever feel,” said Development Program Manager Keri Marie Suther-

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DC or volunteering with the program, please visit HFHDC’s website at

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The acidification crisis affecting our oceans explained Sean Rainey

Contributing Writer

Many of us have heard about the changing acidity of the oceans, yet very few of us understand why this is happening and what causes this global crisis. Carbon dioxide is one of several gases which has great potential for heat retention. Our atmosphere is terribly polluted by massive amounts of CO2 which is produced primarily by our use of fossil fuels. We use fossil fuels to power our vehicles, harness electricity for our homes, and so much more. Our oceans, which make up most of our planet, actively store roughly 25 percent of the carbon dioxide produced

by humans, according to The Climate Reality Project. While the ocean is able to absorb some carbon dioxide, the massive amount that we expunge into the atmosphere is overloading the ocean. Carbon dioxide, once absorbed into the ocean, becomes carbonic acid. As the volume of carbonic acid is increased, the ocean becomes toxically acidic for the organisms residing within its depths. Why should you care? Well, coastal regions rely on the harvesting of aquatic organisms for food. The infamous El NiĂąo, which halts nutrient upwelling on the west coast, is a perfect smaller scale model which shows just how reliant we are on fisheries. If we are

to make our great oceans uninhabitable for aquatic life, we are putting ourselves in an inevitable and disastrous situation. As the global temperature rises, we have noticed that no ocean ecosystem is safe from our pollution. Carbonic acid dissolves the shells of shellfish, sea turtles and other calcium-carbonate carrying organisms, reducing those vital protective coverings to the flimsy consistency of a fingernail. Coral reefs have experienced coral bleaching, a process directly correlated to the rise in ocean temperature. Coral is a tiny animal which prefers a moderate temperature of 20 C, or 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The sea creature

practices a symbiotic relationship with algae, where the coral offers an exoskeletal shield for the algae as well as the components for healthy photosynthesis. In return, the algae keep the coral clean and feed them essential nutrients. When the temperature increases to the point that the coral is under great stress, the organisms expel zooxanthellae, the fancy name of its algae friends. This causes coral to turn white as they lose access to a huge store of essential nutrients for biotic processes. Eventually, the coral die, removing large sections of a viable habitat for the many organisms that take shelter within the reefs. Ocean acidification affects us all. Regardless of our na-

tionality or location on the globe, we are each responsible for the consequences of our pollution. Truly, the first step to any problem is to acknowledge its existence. Secondly, educating others not only helps spread the word, but also improves the ability of the average individual to understand how positive feedback loops resulting from our pollution can devastate and cripple ecosystems around the world. And lastly, if you feel particularly passionate about ocean acidification or another environmental cause, you can become involved through donations or volunteer work with many organizations that have taken a stand against the deterioration of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and the living creatures dying in these biomes.


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trying to attract pollinators The UNT community garden are [to the garden] with flowers as

Gabriela Macias Contributing Writer

The UNT Community Garden is a vivid part of life on campus today, located just outside Legends Hall. The community garden came about through a student-led proposal presented to the We Mean Green Fund (WMGF) Committee back in 2015. Now, with the exceptional work and dedication put in from all involved, the garden features 20 plots, all of which provide raised garden beds, composting and native landscaping for pollinators. The main goal of the community garden is to create a space where students, faculty and staff can organically grow food, become educated on sustainability, and foster connections and relationships that will benefit the UNT community, according to the Division of Student Affairs, “First when I was just a plot owner, I wanted to be able to grow my own food on campus,” Community Garden Coordina-


tor Maggie Brookshire said. “I did that growing up and I loved it. It is really fun, and the food taste so much better. It is also really cheap to grow your food competitively than buying it at a grocery store. It is really rewarding.” The garden is a great place for students and staff to build community and see that there are a lot of people who care about sustainability and the environment at UNT. It helps encourage students to get more involved and realize that they can have an bigger impact on campus. As part of the services the garden provides twice a month, the community garden offers “garden work days”, where educators come to teach plot owners about gardening and different techniques they can apply in their own space. “[The UNT Community Garden] is a visual representation of sustainability on campus,” Brookshire said. “To show that we are putting projects in place and promote biodiversity. We

part of BEE Campus U.S.A. initiative.” Most of the plots are owned by organizations or departments at UNT. The garden also allows groups of friends to get together and own a plot. The UNT Community Garden is a place where all students can learn more about gardening and sustainability. The garden provides all the seeds, tools and gardening supplies for free to gardeners, all provided by the We Mean Green Fund. It is intended to be a place where everyone can gather, garden, learn and socialize, according to the Division of Student Affairs, “We really just want to put this image out here to remind people that we are still part of nature and that we all can play a role promoting sustainability,” Brookshire said. “That it can be fun, and beautiful and add to the esthetics of campus.” The Community Garden Staff Office is located in the Union inside the Sustainability Office. Students and staff can also join their Facebook page to be updated about upcoming events and volunteering opportunities.

April 12, 2018

North Texas Daily Advertorial Feature

Biopiracy: a threat to the natural world Sean Rainey

Contributing Writer

Imagine you are a member of a small tribe in a remote part of the world. You are hiking through a treacherous pass in search of a particular root that your shaman ensures will restore your mother’s health. As you arrive at the small grove said to be home to the healing root, you notice the entirety of the plant has been ripped up from the earth and taken, and with it your chance to heal your mother. Many indigenous people have found themselves in this situation. Outsiders to the tribe come to sacred lands and steal entire populations of species only to ship them home and have them processed for their medicinal value. These thieves are known as Biopirates or, more formally, Bioprospectors. Biopiracy is defined as taking plants or other biological resources from a country or group of people and patenting the end product without having given compensation or recognition to neither the country nor the indigenous people responsible for its actual discovery. Biopirates delve into natural

settings which are host to a variety of healing plants. They are known to take the entirety of a plant, regardless of whether or not all parts of the plant have healing properties. It is true that indigenous people harvest these plants for use as well, however they take only what is needed and leave enough so that the plants may regenerate. Often, the people will even leave gifts for the plant as a thank you for its generosity. When healing plant species are removed from tribal lands, the tribe loses an essential source of medicine. This will often result in casualties as finding new sources of the plant or similar plants can take a long time and may require a dangerous journey through the wild. The issue with Biopiracy is not solely that little and often NO credit is given to those who are deserving, but rather that the exploitation of these resources is a matter of life and death for these marginalized people. Obtaining ancient knowledge and turning it into a profit is a practice that absolutely must be rebuked. While there are companies and organiza-

tions working to fight against Bioprospectors and the entities by whom they are employed, this practice still occurs and continues to take advantage of underrepresented populations. The threat of Biopiracy is not limited to plants used in healing. This threat extends to various plants with various uses. For example, The Neem tree, a tropical plant hailing from India and surrounding areas, is harvested for its insect repelling nature. A chemical, made by the tree, called Azadirachtin is used in all sorts of chemical bug repellents. This tree, like many others, suffers from over-exploitation which threatens its continued existence. The ugly truth behind Biopiracy is that groups of humans aim to take an aspect of nature and lay claim to it. Profit is made and the resource becomes increasingly difficult to obtain. The anthropocentric nature of humans tends to help us forget that we, too, are animals. As animals we have NO right to steal any part of the natural world from other organisms. As every living thing hails from the same earth, we have a natural right, not a privilege, to

share in the miracles of nature. If you are interested in learning more about Biopiracy or the efforts to inhibit the practice check out the African Cen-

tre for Biosafety and the ETC Group. Both of which have a plethora of information available on the topic.

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Music Direction by michael childs

: April 26-28,, 2018 at 7:30pm : April 29,, 2018 at 2:00pm TICKETS $10- $15

For tickets:


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University Theater RTFP Building 1179 Union Circle Denton,, TX 76203


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April 12, 2018


How recycling works Sean Rainey

Contributing Writer

Are paper towels recyclable? Can I recycle grocery bags with the rest of my recycling? This greasy pizza box is made of cardboard, so it’s recyclable, right? No, NO, NOOO! Most people are uninformed about the many intricacies of recycling. I hope to shed some light and dispel any standing misconceptions about this practice that paves a path to a cleaner earth. There are two main types of recycling facilities known as Single Stream Recycling Plants and Dual Stream Recycling Plants. Single Stream recycling plants gather ALL recyclable materials and place them on a conveyor belt in a material recovery facility. They are then sorted based on their material components by a series of machines and people. Dual Stream Recycling plants usually offer services which require recyclers to keep sorted paper material separate from all of their other recyclables. The paper is taken away to a special facility, while the other materials are then placed within a material recovery facility. It is important to remember that soiled material which is classified as contaminated can corrupt an entire batch of recyclable items. Rather than risking the spread of contamination, all these materials are


trucked to the dump. In short, cleaning your recyclable items is essential. The main materials which are commonly considered recyclable are paper, steel, glass, aluminum, and plastic. Paper is mainly made of two ingredients. These are cellulose fibers and water. In order for paper to be recycled correctly, it must first be broken down into these two components. The paper is gathered together in large bundles and placed in a hot water bath. This seperates the paper into strands of cellulose fibers. After this process is completed, the paper, now called pulp, is placed through another bath which removes ink, dirt, and other debris. The recycling process of glass is quite fascinating. Glass must be smashed into tiny pieces by machines which ensure that no piece is larger than 5cm. Glass can then be super-heated and reshaped. Glass must be separated by color at the recycling facility. The tinting of glass, usually green or brown, is used to avert UV radiation from the contents, which would otherwise spoil the product. This is why beer and wine bottles are nearly always tinted. The different shades of tinted glass are composed of alternate elements. So if the smashed pieces of glass were of mixed origin, they would not successfully recombine after being heated. The recycling methods associated with plastic are

rather complex. As there are many different types of plastic, each composed of different elements, the recycling processes differ based on the components involved in each item’s creation. Recyclable materials are divided into six categories. The plastic item is imprinted with a recycle emblem and a corresponding number located within the emblem. Each category contains plastics which must be treated and processed uniquely. Some plastics contain dangerous chemicals, such as hydrochloric acid, which when heated are released. This is one reason why the separation process is so important. The separation methods used by material recovery facilities are baffling. Large magnets separate steel from the (usually) non-magnetic aluminum, while a large device called an “Air Classifier” separates aluminum, glass, and plastic from one another based on weight. A series of devices called rotary screen

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separators perform a similar function with rubber, toothy wheels which push lighter materials to higher conveyor belts and allows heavier materials like glass and aluminum to fall through strategically placed spaces. Most people are vaguely aware of the importance of recycling. For example, reusing steel items is way more practical and cost-effective than locating and mining for more steel. When recycling services are not offered or recycling is not practiced, the

environment experiences immense degradation. Fish can contain plastic shards in their gut and sea turtles’ shells can be horrifically modified by six-pack rings. There are endless examples that further the indisputable argument that recycling is essential. We are responsible for our planet and the organisms we share it with. Each of us should strive to understand WHY we should care about this beautiful planet and HOW to care for it.

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Sam Bass End of Line Announcement Sam Bass route ends Aug. 11, 2018. @UNTtransit 940.565.3020 |

UNT Students face-to-face with City, County, State candidates for office

MEET THE CANDIDATES Hosted by UNT Rotaract and North Texas Daily. Fry St. Tavern on April 23rd from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. All students are encouraged to participate in this first ever event.

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Be green | north texas daily environmental special issue 2018  
Be green | north texas daily environmental special issue 2018