Sustainability Council Updates!

Last year, the Sustainability Council was created as a platform for students to reach out to the student body and raise awareness about sustainability.

Last year, the Sustainability Council was created as a platform for students to reach out to the student body and raise awareness about sustainability. This year’s Sustainability Council members have been working on various projects ranging from introducing Flexitarian Fridays to bringing in speakers on sustainability. To fulfill its goals, the Council has divided itself into different groups.

Sustainability Representative Maia Hawkins-Litvin ’21, the head of the Sustainability Council, mentioned that the Council’s main focus has been their Recycling Initiative. “We have been making sure that the Houses are following through with sorting the bins and bringing them out on the correct days,” she said.

In addition, the Council has also been planning a Flexitarian Friday at Irwin by working closely alongside Director of Dining Services Gary Giberson H’11’18 P’10. A “flexitarian” diet is a vegetarian meal plan that occasionally incorporates some meat or fish. According to Council Member Sophia Springer ’22, aside from the “normal food that the dining halls normally serve, they will also have some extra vegetarian options, just as a way for people to try new [options].” She hopes that this new initiative will serve as a way to “raise awareness about the benefits of a vegetarian or flexitarian diet, and [help] students become more conscious about where their food is coming from.”

The Council also hopes to invite a speaker to discuss the topic of sustainability to the student body. This year, the students in charge of this initiative have been working especially hard to diversify the speaker. “We’re trying to put emphasis on women and people of color, specifically within the sustainability conservation industry,” Lina Olazabal ’22 said. The virtual winter term will also allow the Council to more easily connect with speakers. She believes that the current pandemic has actually made scheduling speakers a more manageable task, as “it’s always harder to get a person onto campus and get all the logistics sorted out.”

According the Hawkins-Litvin, the Council also hopes to plan projects such as the VILLEage Green Newsletter, which will “inform the student body on sustainability events around campus when we return in the spring.” Members of the Council have also been writing articles for the Climate Action Summit website, an organization created by Alex Noviello ’23 and Andrew Noviello ’23. Hawkins-Litvin hopes that the Climate Summit will be “an initiative that will bring together a lot of schools in our area and across the country to encourage participation in conferences about sustainability.”

Reflecting on her involvement with the Council, Spring said, “Over the summer, I started to become more aware of my impact on the environment and realized just how bad the situation we will be in if we don’t make changes to our lives. I wanted a way to do my part and make a change in this world to help the environment.”

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