Sustainability main theme of documentary showing on campus


    The United Nations estimates that by the middle of the century there may be 150 million people displaced because of natural disasters, drought and famine. However, young people have the capability to create positive change, the Environmental Club secretary said.

    These issues are discussed in “The 11th Hour,” a documentary produced and narrated by actor Leonardo DiCaprio, said Gretchen Wilbrandt, secretary of Adduco Viridis: TCU Environmental Club. The documentary will be shown tonight by the AV Club in Palko Hall Auditorium at 7 p.m.

    AV Club students said they are encouraged by the current progress TCU has made in effort to “go green,” but they said more change is needed.

    “Before TCU can really become green, we need student awareness,” Wilbrandt said. “The students have to get involved.”

    Wilbrandt and other AV Club members said TCU has the capability to “go green” only if the students get involved.

    “There’s always potential, but potential isn’t anything unless you act on it,” Wilbrandt said.

    AV club members hope to get TCU students involved in the sustainability movement and spread awareness about the issues, Wilbrandt said.

    “This is not necessarily for the people who take environmental science classes or go to [AV Club] meetings. That would just be preaching to the choir,” Wilbrandt said. “We are trying to reach out to the rest of the community.”

    Wilbrandt said most students do not understand the concept of sustainability.

    “It [sustainability] is about the practice of conservation and preservation over degradation,” she said. “It is how humans live harmoniously with the earth without depriving future generations.”

    According to the documentary’s Web site, the 11th hour is the last moment when change is possible, and the film explores how the way people live has brought them to that moment, showing the detrimental impact humans have on the earth’s ecosystems and the change that must be done.

    The documentary screening will be followed by a Q&A session with local environmental experts such as Brian Boerner, director of Fort Worth’s Environmental Management Department, and Stephan McGuire, co-producer of the film.

    Macy Zander, a freshman environmental science major, said students who want to start living a more “green” lifestyle should start by making wiser consumer decisions.

    “Drink out of a Nalgene instead of buying those plastic Ozarka bottles every day,” she said. “It would reduce TCU’s waste dramatically. Turn off lights and print on both sides of computer paper. You have to start with small things.”

    Boerner said people should recycle more and use less fossil fuels to conserve resources.

    “Now that we are consuming resources at a rapid pace, we’ve thrown the environment out of balance,” Boerner said. “Putting a big name behind an issue like this raises awareness and gives people trying to get the message out a foot in the door.”

    This spring, the documentary will be shown at more than 20 colleges nationwide, and the film will be released on DVD on April 8, according to “The 11th Hour” Web site.

    Although AV Club is sponsoring the event, other student activist organizations such as Frogs for Fair Trade, Peace Action and the Society of Sustainability will be there to show their support for the cause, Wilbrandt said.

    “We are all coming together to achieve our goals,” she said. “With this broader base of support we can achieve more and reach more people.”

    For Your Info

    What: “The 11th Hour” viewing, followed by Q&A session
    When: 7 p.m. today
    Where: Palko Auditorium