College DECA competes in statewide green fundraiser

Delta Epsilon Chi is competing with eight other Minnesota chapters to sell various eco-friendly products.

by Lolla Mohammed Nur

Since its establishment at the University of Minnesota a year ago, Delta Epsilon Chi, the college division of DECA Inc ., has been trying to raise money through fundraisers like many other college organizations. But what makes the marketing and entrepreneurship organizationâÄôs newest fundraiser different is that itâÄôs green. The co-ed organization has been working with Minnesota Green Team LLC , a Minneapolis-based eco-consulting association, to launch its eco-friendly online fundraiser, which will begin this week. The products being sold, which include a reusable sandwich wrap that can turn into a placemat, conservation shower heads and biodegradable tableware, are from Green Irene LLC. Eight chapters of Delta Epsilon Chi throughout Minnesota will compete for the highest product sales until the fundraiser ends in January, and the winning chapter will receive 20 percent of the sales. Kia Adams , president of Delta Epsilon Chi, said since most of the products being sold are home accessories, she doesnâÄôt expect a lot of students to buy them. But she said the fundraiser may target certain products specifically to students. âÄúA lot of people donâÄôt realize that little things like this really go far. On a campus like this, if everyone stopped using water bottles it would help the environment so much,âÄù she said. âÄùI hope through this that everybody realizes itâÄôs a big deal to help the environment and that little steps can do a lot.âÄù Adams said she hopes to raise at least $500, which will cover some of the costs for her organizationâÄôs members to attend the International Career Development Conference in Kentucky. Chris Hughes , the co-founder of Minnesota Green Team and University of Minnesota Delta Epsilon Chi alumnus, said he brought the idea of a green fundraiser to the organization in the summer. âÄúThey were extremely excited and got back to me right away, and we just picked it up from there,âÄù he said. Hughes said although there havenâÄôt been a lot of sales yet, heâÄôs optimistic that college students will be interested once they hear about the fundraiser. âÄúThe green movement for the younger generation is huge,âÄù he said. However, the expensive prices might discourage potential buyers, he said. âÄúRight now everything is so price driven in retail that people only look for the lowest price,âÄù he said. âÄúWe donâÄôt sell cheap stuff because we think these are really good products.âÄù If the fundraiser is successful, both Adams and Hughes said more green initiatives will be planned in the future. Hughes said this fundraiser could even be used as a template for a nationwide fundraising competition. In conjunction with the Carlson School of Management-based student group Green Biz , Delta Epsilon Chi is already organizing a tour of eco-friendly companies in Minnesota. Although Delta Epsilon Chi is not affiliated with the Interfraternity or Panhellenic councils, Lisa Balzo , president of Greeks Going Green , said green initiatives are a common trend in the greek community. âÄúWeâÄôve been trying to get fraternities and sororities to live more sustainably by recycling and conserving,âÄù she said. âÄúItâÄôs something that people our age have the opportunity to change.âÄù