This spring, Haverford is making strides to increase awareness and action on environmental issues and sustainability.
The Haverford Arboretum celebrated Earth Day last Tuesday by hosting a planting event in the area between student dorms Tritton and Kim. A small group gathered by the newly-installed plants for a reading of the environmental conservation-themed Dr. Seuss classic “The Lorax.”
Student groups, too, are reaching out to the community to help make environmentalism more accessible. As part of Earth Day last Tuesday, EarthQuakers provided cookies and decorating materials as part of the small fair in the Sunken Lounge.
The fair included tables for a number of on campus environmental groups, including ETHOS Food Initiative, EarthQuakers, and Haverfordians for a Livable Future (HLF).
Haverford’s environmental-themed community house Ehaus also participated in the fair, as did the Committee for Environmental Responsibility, the college’s administrative sustainability representative.
“The goal of the Earth Day fair was to bring together the different student groups on campus that are interested in environmental issues,” said Katie Rowlett, a sophomore in both EarthQuakers and HLF who helped to organize the fair. “We … wanted let students see all the cool projects these groups are working on, and the many different forms that environmentalism and sustainability take here on campus.”
Alongside the cookie decorating, the EarthQuakers had small leaf-shaped papers for students to write their environmental pledges. Ideas for pledges included limiting shower time to five minutes and separating compost from trash in the Dining Center.
EarthQuakers also have a number of projects in the works both around campus and online.
“We’ve been trying to use our new Facebook page to publicize the Building Dashboard, which has lots of information about the energy use of campus buildings,” said EarthQuaker member Chloe Wang ‘17.
Other efforts include making drying racks available for rent to cut back on drying machine use and promoting awareness by putting up signs encouraging students to waste less water and use fewer paper towels.
At the table next to the EarthQuakers, ETHOS was promoting food justice on campus, emphasizing a switch to local, organic, humane, and ethical food.
“[We] just completed a food audit of the DC and [are] now starting to work with them to get food from more local, organic, ethical and human sources,” said Sara Jaramillo ‘15, a member of ETHOS. She added that in the long run, ETHOS hopes “to increase awareness of the myriad problems in our food system and figure out new solutions to those problems.”
During the fair, HLF was handing out small squares of orange felt made into pins. According to Rowlett, orange has become a symbol for environmental conservation and especially the movement toward sustainable energy.
The group is currently working on a “Haverford Cares” photo campaign, taking snapshots of students with notes about why environmental justice matters to them. HLF plans to combine the photos into a collage.
“We’re showing why we at Haverford care about environmental justice, and why it is high time for all of us to work together to make a change,” said Rowlett.
For more about environmental responsibility at Haverford, check out the Greening Haverford webpage, which includes information on some of Haverford’s current efforts to go green.
All photos by Ryan Gooding ’16.
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