The Extras: Making Earth Day Everyday

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With 400 plus student groups and tons of events daily, how does a Brown student navigate life outside of the lecture hall? I’m Lily Hartmann, and I am the freshmen behind “The Extras”; the blog that aims to give you a glimpse into the most exciting and noteworthy activities on campus. Throughout the year this blog will give you snapshots of what Brunonians do when they aren’t hitting the books on College Hill!

Earth Day was this past Tuesday and Brown celebrated with our own Earth Week. To mark the 44th anniversary of Earth Day, emPower collaborated with other Brown groups and the Providence community to organize Earth Week 2014. The week’s activities were centered around the sustainability and creating an eco-friendly campus.

On Tuesday, emPower hosted an Earth Day Dinner at the Ratty. They featured local food, and Brown’s food-related student groups showcased their work and sustainable ideas. The Ratty served everything from locally made ice cream to pasta with local seafood. Instead of throwing food scraps away, Eco Reps were there to teach us what on our plate was compostable. The Earth Day Dinner was probably one of the best dinners I have had at the Ratty so far, and emPower definitely did a great job connecting with local vendors to bring fresh food to campus. Other events during the week included a Divest Coal Letter Campiagn, a workshop about canning food, tree planting on Elmwood Street in downtown Providence, an East Bay Bike Ride, and an open garden workday.

But the work emPower, Eco Reps, and other environmental groups do on campus does not end with Earth Week. Initiatives carried out throughout the year advocate for making the whole campus eco-friendly. For example, Do It in the Dark is a competition that focuses on decreasing energy consumption within dorms by tracking each residence hall’s energy use over the span of a couple weeks. We also have West House, Brown’s Environmental Program House, which has a food co-op and cooks vegetarian or vegan food with local, seasonal ingredients. The members of the West House track their energy and gas consumption each week so that they can work towards lowering their impact and carbon footprint. They also run a composting program for the dorms.

Brown offers a wide variety of ways to get involved if you are interested in sustainability or promoting eco-friendly practices. There are groups that work on campus and within Providence to support efforts to go green. So if you find yourself on campus in the fall and environmental organizations are your thing, join one of the groups on campus and make Brown green!

Have questions about a specific student group or event on campus? Want me to cover a specific topic in my next post? Feel free to shoot me an email at lily_hartmann@brown.edu with any of your questions and comments

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