Campus Rep (and PGC 2014 finalist),Emi LaFountain reflected on the event ..
Part one of our eventful day of course was the College Information Station. Even at a small school like Rice, we managed to get enthusiastic volunteers to man each and every one of our sustainable booths. Not only did we have booths for Green Cleaning, Body, Food, Hemp, Space, Zero-Waste, and Style, but we also had an awesome rep from Guayaki Yerba Mate come out with her own sampling booth. I was especially proud of our volunteers, many of whom didn’t know anything about their topics before they started helping out, and quickly became experts on their topic throughout the day!
Everything worked out to our advantage for the College Information Station. A combination of the beautiful weather and the wonderful spring foliage made our booths particularly attractive, and around 400 people must have shown up!
There were so many great things I heard throughout the day. Here’s what one kid said: “I think one thing that I was made aware of today was how much plastic there is in the things I buy, so buying bulk and using reusable containers is something I really want to focus on.” Another student said, “I really see the impacts. I know what it means now what recycling and being environmentally conscious can have.” Hearing transformations like that in just that 4-hour period was extremely rewarding!
Our Town Hall meeting was a huge hit as well — around forty dedicated students must have shown up. Tons of great questions came up, like “why is it important to talk about GMOs? Haven’t people been selectively breeding for years?” and “I’m already interested in sustainability, but how can I get my friends to be too?” came up. It was a great opportunity to spread the word not only about Turning Green but also student-led activism in general. One of my favorite moments was when the future president of our environmental club said that she wanted to change the name of the club to Project Green Rice and make it a Project Green chapter!
In short, today was an absolute success. With tons of students showing up genuinely interested in not only our samples but what we had to say, we were able to spread the word on environmental issues that otherwise may not have been considered. Woohoo!
Emi is a senior studying Environmental Engineering and Asian Studies at Rice University. She was also a Project Green Challenge 2014 Finalist!