Colgate University’s Office of Sustainability began their countdown to Earth Day this past weekend with the annual 13 Days of Green kickoff event. Held each spring, the 13 Days of Green brings together the entire Colgate community to highlight local and global sustainability challenges and initiatives, according to Assistant Director of Sustainability and Program Coordinator of Environmental Studies Pamela Gramlich.
“Each year, during 13 Days of Green our community comes together to celebrate sustainability and inspire action towards a more environmentally sound and socially just future. I am consistently impressed by the work our students do to make 13 Days of Green possible, and by our community’s desire to engage in these important conversations,” Gramlich said.
The 13 Days of Green is holding in-person events this year, as opposed to sponsoring the virtual events held last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The kickoff, hosted this past Saturday, April 10, took place on the Academic Quad with events like lawn games, making flower-pressed notecards, ‘90s trivia and other activities.
Students were encouraged to participate in the activities and come learn about sustainability efforts and resources at Colgate. Sustainability intern and junior Willa King attended the kickoff event on Saturday.
“The best part of Kickoff and 13 Days of Green in general is seeing all different groups come together to promote sustainability. At kickoff, we had tables from Students for Environmental Action, Shaw Wellness Center, the U-Can Project and other organizations,” King said. “It is awesome to see all the groups that are involved in sustainability on campus and I think it is really helpful for anyone who stops by to learn more about all the projects going on and work being done on campus to promote sustainability.”
The 13 Days of Green will continue featuring various sustainable activities on Colgate’s campus, such as natural tie-dye, plant-based teaching kitchens and a clothing swap. Sustainability intern and sophomore Anya Steinmetz led the natural tie-dye event this past Sunday in the Mat.
“We set up socially distanced stations for people to tie dye their clothes using dyes made from beets, spinach, turmeric and indigo. We also replaced the rubber bands with twine. Overall, the event was a great success and we had a lot of participants throughout the day,” Steinmetz said.
Sustainability intern and senior Skylar Jeveli recalled her favorite events from the past years.
“Some of the highlights of the 13 Days of Green that always get a lot of participation are the Kickoff, Clothing Swap, Green Summit and the Afternoon of Service,” Jeveli said.
The Afternoon of Service is hosted in collaboration with Colgate’s Center for Outreach, Volunteerism and Education (COVE). While the event was held virtually last year, it typically includes students venturing into the greater-Hamilton area to perform sustainable acts of service such as planting in the Community Garden or picking up trash throughout the local community. The Afternoon of Service Event planned for this year, taking place on Friday, April 16, will feature both in-person and remote components. Students have the opportunity to volunteer at the Colgate Community Garden or at the Community Bikes station. The virtual component consists of a collaboration with the Team Vaccine Initiatives and local food banks, working to match community members with available COVID-19 vaccines and donate food to local food banks.
“Through all of our events during the 13 Days of Green, students and community members can learn about sustainability at Colgate and beyond in an interactive and fun way. We love getting to bring people together who are interested in sustainability and promote awareness about these issues on campus,” Jeveli said.
According to the Sustainability Council, 13 Days of Green is meant to increase awareness of sustainability efforts on campus in a fun and engaging format.
“I do think the 13 Days of Green is going to help promote sustainability,” King said. “We get to collaborate with other offices and host events that draw in a lot of people. I think that this increased visibility helps students to remember to live sustainably. We have some awesome events planned so stop by and check it out.”