By ARMAND BUTERA
Senior engineering major Moises Koodsi is so active on campus that he rarely has time to sit down and relax, but he’s working on a project that lets students do just that.
“Green Grass Chairs” is the engineering department’s newest idea, one that combines biodegradable materials and soil to build chairs on campus that are comfortable and environmentally friendly.
Although Koodsi already has fellow engineering students on board for the project, he is eager to recruit students of all majors and interests.
“The point of this project is to get different people involved,” Koodsi said, “to get engineers and non-engineers working on a project that doesn’t require too much engineering skill.”
The Green Grass Chairs project is all-inclusive. Students would not only be building the actual chair, but will be learning the business side of engineering as well.
The chairs are intended for the hill that sits to the right of the S-CAPS building, and if the project is approved, students will have to negotiate where the chairs will be placed on that plot of land.
The chair-building process may seem intimidating, but Koodsi said that it is basic and engaging enough to encourage all students to try their hand at creating a Green Grass Chair.
The process involves cross sectioning, a technique that will provide the chairs with a basic grid design. Students will then have to simply ll the pockets in the skeleton of the chair with dirt and grass seeds.
Koodsi is hoping to get the project approved before the fall semester ends. By planting the chairs in the coming months, the seeds will sprout early into the spring semester.
It is a very hands- on process, and with this project students can learn the benefits of a little elbow grease.
“We don’t want to use any machinery that would rely on fossil fuels or any other substances that can hurt the environment,” Koodsi said.
The material for the cardboard skeletons of the chair is another environmentally friendly aspect of the project. The university, which uses large quantities of cardboard and paper on a daily basis, can choose to donate them to the cause. Recycling this material into the chairs not only helps the students, but the university as well, Koodsi said.
“Those materials can easily be used,” he said. “Instead of throwing all of it in a garbage can, or somewhere where it will simply get mixed in with plastics, we can use it for the grass chairs project.”
The Green Grass Chairs would not only be another place for students to congregate, but it would also highlight the university’s green thumb. But Koodsi has loftier goals for the project.
The engineering major mentioned recent hurricanes and other natural disasters that have been occurring around the world. Acknowledging the decades of abuse the planet has taken from human pollution, Koodsi believes that every attempt to be more environmentally friendly can help in showing others just how important it is to give back to the planet.
“If we do something small, no matter how small, it helps,” Koodsi said. “I know everyone knows the term ‘that’s the straw that broke the camel’s back,’ but a straw can make a difference, so something as easy as recycling can really help.”