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The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Office of Sustainability Celebrates Earth Day With 13 Days of Green

Office of Sustainability Celebrates Earth Day With 13 Days of Green
Instagram / @colgatesust

Colgate University’s Office of Sustainability launched its annual celebration of sustainability, known as 13 Days of Green, on Wednesday, April 10. The kickoff celebration featured a variety of clubs and organizations including the Center for Outreach, Volunteerism and Education (COVE) and the Shaw Wellness Institute. Students visited tables hosted by these organizations to learn how they can get involved in different sustainability efforts.

First-year sustainability representatives were in charge of handing out ice cream to participants. Ice cream from local restaurant Gilligan’s Island was offered in cones as a sustainable alternative to commonly utilized single-use plastic cups and spoons. Additionally, Colgate Students for Environmental Action sold homemade cookies to raise funds for the club, raising over $330 total. Colgate student band Children at Play also performed live music. Other smaller arts and crafts activities were also offered. The kickoff allowed students to learn about various facets of sustainability by engaging with each organization’s specific activities and educational platform.

Senior and sustainability intern Brenna McConnell underscored the event’s importance and focus.

“I love how it really brings community members and organizations together with the same goal of promoting sustainability,” McConnell said. “Live music and free ice cream add a lot of positive vibes, which I think is a great way to reach a wider audience and encourage more students to engage with and learn about sustainability.”

McConnell shared that she hoped the event had a lasting impact on students in terms of their mindset around sustainability and their impact on the planet. 

“The single most important thing that I hope students take away from this event is that they can make a positive difference through their actions,” McConnell said. “It can be demoralizing to think about the larger problem of climate change, but I hope that knowing that you are able to do your part and be an environmentally-friendly community member in spite of this larger challenge can bring inspiration and motivation to everyone who attends one of our events.”

Senior Sydney Goldberg attended the event and found the music and activity stations captivating.

“My favorite part of the event was the live student band performing. It really fostered a wholesome, fun and uplifting atmosphere,” Goldberg said. “I also loved all of the little environment-themed stations; there were so many creative and fun activities for students to participate in while also educating [themselves] on how to better take care of our Earth.”

The 13 Days of Green series initially began in 2010 following Colgate’s commitment to carbon neutrality. The Office of Sustainability was formed shortly after to assist with these initiatives. Although the series was originally celebrated on a much smaller scale, it has garnered greater attention and grown over the past several years.

The series aims to promote sustainability efforts around campus for community members to engage with. The events are especially important to the Office of Sustainability because by collaborating with a variety of campus partners, they can bring in diverse perspectives to learn about sustainability in creative ways.

First-year Zachary O’Donnell highlighted the importance of education on sustainability.

“The events bring a lot of awareness to sustainability, especially on campus and in leading up to Earth Day. It’s really important for people to be educated about how to help the planet,” O’Donnell said. 

This year’s 13 Days of Green kickoff festivities combined live music, activities, ice cream and community to celebrate the planet ahead of Earth Day and promote sustainability on Colgate’s campus. The series continues with a variety of events following the April 10 kickoff, with a culminating Earth Day bird walk on Monday, April 22.

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