School Kicks off Month-Long Green- Campus Initiative

Lawrenceville’s annual month-long green initiative, Sustainuary, began on Monday, January 21 and will continue until Monday, February 18.

Lawrenceville’s annual month-long green initiative, Sustainuary, began on Monday, January 21 and will continue until Monday, February 18. Now in its 13th year, Sustainuary aims to increase awareness for sustainability and promote eco-friendliness in the Lawrenceville community.

On the goal of Sustainuary, Kosoff said, “It’s fun and something different to focus on [...] and lighten your spirits. It’s also about creating awareness for [sustainability]. We have good signage in the dining hall, and I think people are pretty conscious about it.”

Initially, Lawrenceville participated in a Green Cup challenge—a campus-wide initiative focused on conserving energy—with Phillips Exeter Academy and Northfield Mount Hermon High School. As more schools participated in the challenge, Lawrenceville developed sustainability-based events and challenges for the School community, which eventually evolved into Sustainuary.

Sustainability Representative Harriet Wiser ’19 said, “There [are] not a lot of sustainability events throughout the year, so it’s good to have concentrated time focused on sustainability so that people become more aware [of] it.”

The month-long initiative will include events from previous years such as the Eco Coffee House and the annual sap collection led by Big Red Farm Program Manager Stephen Laubach.

In addition to these events, Director of Sustainability Sam Kosoff ’88 H’96 P’19 will be introducing “Flexitarian Fridays.”

According to Kosoff, “Flexitarian is a combination of being vegetarian and being flexible.” During Flexitarian Fridays, Kosoff encourages students to “try being a vegetarian or try eating one serving of meat instead of [eating it] for every meal.”

Towards the end of Sustainuary, National Geographic Young Explorer Alizé Carrèr will speak about climate change during school meeting.

Sustainuary will conclude with the annual Trashion Show and a Dinner in the Dark event in the Irwin Dining Center on Valentine’s Day.

Wiser said, “[The Trashion Show] gets all the Houses involved and [encourages] them to do well because you get House Cup points.”

Following Sustainuary, Kosoff plans to introduce “Campus Cleanup,” which will serve as a way for students “to clean up the School’s campus” and “properly dispose of trash.”

Of “Campus Cleanup,” Wiser said, “It ties in community service to [sustainability], and it helps those who need a one-time event credit [and] are interested in sustainability.”

Kosoff also plans to continue his “parent program” which educates parents on the importance of sustainability. Last week, parents attended a meeting about climate change, and Kosoff will hold more discussions about important sustainability topics in the spring.

In the future, Wiser aims to increase the amount of sustainability events through the year.

“We are going to have sales [...] for sweatshirts and bracelets, and some of that money is going back to the Bathhouse so we can keep buying paper straws and [eventually] sell metal straws.”

“[We are] trying to find small ways for people to get involved so people don’t think of [eco-friendly initiatives] as a hassle. It makes it a little simpler for people to have it on their minds,” Wiser said.