Green ‘Gate: Green Events Staff Aims to Make Events Sustainable

Cassidy Holahan

In order to make events at Colgate more sustainable, the student club Green Gates and the Sustainability Council are teaming up to create the Green Events Staff (GES), a collection of students dedicated to making school events more environmentally friendly.

The GES will be a group of students who will attend on-campus events and make suggestions about how they can be more sustainable. The student advocates will primarily focus on promoting compostable plates and utensils, composting bins, recycling bins, local low-packaging food and catering at events.

 The staff also plans to attend the events as well to make sure that attendees are both aware of these amenities and are properly composting and recycling. Right now, the club is looking for people to volunteer to be part of the Green Events Staff.

“The Green Events Staff will hopefully benefit the community because it will make people more aware about their habits, and will hopefully help reduce our carbon footprint,” Team Leader of Green Gates sophomore Kate Hu said.

Green Gates is a Center for Outreach, Volunteerism and Education (COVE) environmental group on campus that focuses on raising awareness of the environment through entertainment. Because the club is a COVE group, they also tend to focus on volunteering and service. One of the club’s primary activities is volunteering at the farmer’s market to promote local foods. The club decided to execute GES, which the Sustainability Council brainstormed, because it benefits the community.

“We want to offer a real service to the Colgate campus,” Green Gates President junior Vincci Cheng said. “Hopefully, through this, we can start influencing the behavior of students. When students see how simple steps can make an event green, we hope that they will realize that being more sustainable can often be simple and easy.”

GES will first target Brown Bags on campus to make sure their operations and food are sustainable. The GES is currently in its trial mode; last week GES tried a pilot event, a women’s studies brown bag, which they say is one of the most sustainable events on campus.

“They are one of our models about how an on-campus event can be as waste-free and environmentally-friendly as possible,” Hu said.

After GES has improved the Brown Bags, they will move on to other events on campus. GES is looking for around twenty volunteers to become part of the initiative. Green Gates, however, does many other things on campus other than GES.

Cheng said that the main focus of Green Gates is to get people aware and involved with the environment in fun and entertaining ways. The group will be hosting a Trash Fashion event on December 8 as a study break. During the event, students will make outfits from recyclable materials and showcase them in a fashion show. The club is also trying to coordinate a play in the spring that will highlight environmental issues.

“Activities that are entertaining and fun are the easiest ways to get people involved,” Hu said.

Contact Cassidy Holahan at [email protected]