Office of Sustainability Holds Annual 13 Days of Green Virtually


Colgate’s annual 13 Days of Green, hosted by the Office of Sustainability, moved to virtual platforms due to COVID-19. The celebration involved several virtual events each day, including activities like sustainability puzzles and social media bingo. Many landmark13 Days of Green  events were still hosted virtually. 

The 13 Days of Green celebration typically consists of 13 days of events leading up to Earth Day, ranging from activities on the quad, within academic buildings and throughout the Village of Hamilton. COVID-19 restrictions forced the cancellation and adaptation of these events to solely virtual platforms. 

Each day, the Office publicized events on their Instagram story with interactive posts such as crossword puzzles, sustainability bingo and further allowed participants to connect with the stories by challenging them to share their results on their own social media accounts

Assistant Director for Sustainability and Program Coordinator for Environmental Studies Pamela Gramlich said the Office of Sustainability’s adaptation to the circumstances allowed the events to engage a wide audience.

“I am thrilled that we were still able to host an engaging series of programs for 13 Days of Green despite the transition to online learning. This gave us the opportunity to reach beyond our campus to engage alumni, colleagues at other schools, Hamilton community members and so many more,” Gramlich said. 

One of the central events of 13 Days of Green is the annual Afternoon of Service, hosted in collaboration with the Center for Outreach, Volunteerism and Education (COVE). The Afternoon of Service typically includes students venturing into the greater Hamilton area to perform sustainability-related acts of service such as planting in the Community Garden or picking up trash throughout the local community. 

Office of Sustainability Intern senior Cecilia Kane, who served on this year’s Afternoon of Service planning committee, discussed the changes made to the Afternoon of Service event in response to COVID-19. Kane said the event collected pledges from over 30 people located across 10 states.

“In response to remote learning and working, we adapted our event from an organized afternoon of service to a virtual one, whereby students, faculty and staff could pledge to complete various good deeds throughout the day. While we normally would have worked directly with community partners in Hamilton, this approach allowed participants to have an impact wherever they were. Activities included calling or writing a loved one, picking up trash on a walk, helping with voter registration and delivering groceries to a neighbor,” Kane said.

The Office of Sustainability’s first-year representatives known as “S-Reps” hosted a 13 Days of Green Trivia Event online in collaboration with Donovan’s Pub. The event virtually brought together over 70 student participants. Sustainability Representative first-year Caleigh O’Connell said she felt the event was a success.

“Even though we had to host our trivia online instead of at Donovan’s Pub, it went really well. It was so exciting to see so many people that aren’t involved in the sustainability office come onto Zoom and play. It really showed how devoted to sustainability Colgate is, no matter where we are,” O’Connell said. 

Gramlich echoed O’Connell’s sentiment, reflecting on the overall success of the event series. 

“I am grateful to have such a supportive Colgate community who is willing to take this time to reflect on sustainability despite all that is going on right now in the world,” Gramlich said.