Student environmental groups showcase efforts at open house
Students, faculty and local residents voted on the works as part of a trash sculpture contest, one of several events during the four-hour open house that showcased the latest campus and local green initiatives.
Held a day after the release of the University’s second sustainability report, the open house featured about 45 campus and community groups hoping to raise awareness through posters, booths and food.
Representatives from student groups stressed the importance of making minor adjustments in daily routines to save energy and reduce waste.
“Our main goal is to raise awareness of the little things people can do, like not buy bottled water when they have the option to refill a Nalgene bottle,” said USG senator Flavia Brancusi ’12, who was working at the USG Sustainability Committee’s station. That committee was formed last winter to campaign for local sustainability issues and encourage students to save energy by unplugging appliances over breaks.
“One of the biggest things is reducing [waste], using less so you don’t have to even recycle as much,” said Stephanie Freudenberg ’12, a member of Princeton Eco-Reps.
“There are a lot of things people don’t even realize they can do to practice sustainability, like turning off lights and adjusting the heat,” said Anna Zhao ’12, a member of Greening Princeton. “[Princeton students] could print less ... like only the stuff you will actually read. Also, a lot of people know veggies are better for the environment, but not why.”
Greening Princeton’s station offered sandwiches with alternatives to meat like peanut butter, which has a lot of protein, is low in sugar and contains vital amino acids not found in meat.
Green Design’s station featured environmentally friendly products from local businesses, such as reusable bamboo sporks, soap, eco-friendly water bottles called Kanteens and reusable sandwich wraps.
“I thought the station Green Design was really interesting because it showcased a bunch of things you wouldn’t think were sustainable,” Sabina Hlavaty ’13 said.
In addition to booths for student groups, the open house also featured free computer recycling, a bike repair co-op, displays of electric vehicles such as the Ford Electric Focus and a plug-in hybrid, and free kettle corn.
A scavenger hunt at the open house challenged participants to complete questions about different stations in order to get a prize. The prize included a packet of gift certificates valued at $400 that could be redeemed at local green restaurants and retailers such as The Bent Spoon, Mediterra and Princeton Record Exchange.
This was the second open house organized by the Office of Sustainability.
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