It has been about two weeks since the 2018 Conscious College Road Tour stopped at Dickinson College. It sure does not feel that way.
Everyone who attended had a great time, so many smiles and thoughtful faces. I met people I did not know on my own tiny campus and bonded over shared concerns and interests. I watched as my peers learned about the secrets of our food, clothing and health product industries.
As people left, they talked to me about surprise at how harmful items they trust can be but also with excitement about the new products and brands they learned about such as Natracare, Acure, Clif Bar, and Sambazon.
Seeing so many people come and go with new knowledge and plans to make changes in their lives for their own benefit and the planets is just amazing.
Not to mention all the support I had from various departments at my school and student groups, along with all the “thank you”s and positive feedback I have been receiving from other students, faculty and even from my school.
While the Conscious information station drew in large crowds and promised a build up of small changes, the town hall was truly inspiring.
I saw a mixture of students who I do not often see together, from all different clubs, majors and background thinking critically about life on our campus. We came to realize that while our interests are diverse our concerns are similar. We all seemed to care about the sources of our energy, fair access to healthy food, a reduction of waste and a healthy future for our- selves, and the world.
After brainstorming for a while, we discovered that on campus one thing all of our breakout groups had in common was a wish to decrease waste. As someone who has to carry food waste from our school to our farm and monitor the recycling and trash in my dorm, I can tell you we produce tons of waste (literally). And like any system, improvements need to be made with special focus on one of my biggest eco-pet-peeves…. The single use plastic straw!
At the end of the town hall all we can say so far is… Hey Dickinson, it’s time to #STOPSUCKING! Because #whatsthepoint of straws anyway.
These two events were truly amazing. For me they represent hope that people who maybe do not often consider environmentalism their number one activity or who just feel lost amongst all the information are ready to learn given the chance and the encouragement. People wandered in because they wanted free stuff and free food, but they left wanting to know more and with plans for change not just personally but to encourage others to do so too.
This event also represents to me the ability of a few people to plan something amazing and educate each other for a better tomorrow. If a few people can host such an amazing event, think about even half the attendees putting their mind to the problems of today, they can be tackled in no time with a little inspiration and a lot of teamwork!
About the Author: Ilana is a student at Dickinson College. She was a finalist in Project Green Challenge 2017 and was awarded 2nd Place. Ilana served as a Campus Rep for the Conscious College Road Tour 2018.