If Big Red seems a little green, it might be because it is Campus Sustainability Week. All week long Tafties will have the opportunity to learn about ongoing environmental initiatives across campus and across the globe while engaging in fun and purposeful activities designed to raise awareness and encourage action. Taft’s environmental stewards—our EcoMons—lead the charge.
“At the heart of the EcoMonitor committee is a desire to leave Taft a more sustainably-conscious institution than we found it,” explains EcoMon Katie Bootsma ’20. “Sustainability week is a fantastic platform for us to do just that. We want to inspire students to become stewards of the environment, to educate students on the topic of climate change, and to remind students that this is truly the only world we’ve got. Discussion, education, and activism are key components here, this week and beyond.”
Campus Sustainability Week came to Taft in October of 2016. The initiative was modeled after and coincided with a statewide, higher education initiative. Today, colleges and universities across the country engage in a month-long call to action, designed to stimulate conversation, build connections, and effect real change. At Taft, that means a week filled with this like hands-on community clean-up, a farm-to-table sit-down dinner, a formal debate, apple picking, daily food-waste weigh-ins, and educational programming.
“Campus Sustainability Week allows us to teach everyone about sustainable living and actions that can apply here at Taft and beyond. We can recognize our impact individually and at the whole-school level while keeping essential questions in the back of our minds and floating around campus. Specifically, what can every one of us do to make Taft a cleaner, greener place?” says EcoMon Alex Robertson ’20. “Throughout the week, we will be running education tables outside of the cafeteria during lunch where we will be teaching and playing games to inform students and faculty about recycling, water and electricity usage, food miles and waste, and many other relevant topics. At the end of the day, EcoMons bring their individual knowledge and support back into their dorms, where we try to impact on a closer, more personal level and promote sustainable practices outside of the school day, 24/7.”
And of note: Tuesday’s Morning Meeting speaker will be Gina McCarthy, former head of the EPA, and Director of The Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Harvard C-CHANGE).
“We are so lucky to have Gina McCarthy speak on Tuesday,” notes Alex. “It's wonderfully appropriate and exciting to have the former head of the EPA at our school during our sustainability week.”
Follow Taft EcoMons (@ecomonstaft) on Instagram, and Taft's regular social media channels for news and information about the week's events.