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College Focuses on Sustainability in Fifth Annual Green Week

Giovanni Hashimoto, April 24, 2012
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Pacific Union College celebrated its annual Green Week, focusing on sustainable living in all aspects of life through a full week of programming, April 15-20. This is the fifth year of the event—a partnership between the PUC Green Club and the office of student services.

The week features events designed to help the campus community shift to more sustainable practices. The week was scheduled to lead up to worldwide celebrations of Earth Day 2012 on April 22.

“Earth Day is an international event to promote safeguarding the environment,” explains Darlene Teddy, president of the PUC Green Club and a junior environmental studies student. “Green Week is PUC’s way of being involved; we use the week to educate students about being green and to be aware of the environment. It's all about education and awareness.”

Themes were planned for each day promoting sustainability. On Monday, hundreds of students across campus wore green to celebrate the kickoff of Green Week.

The next day, students were encouraged to unplug unused chargers and turnoff light switches for "Turn-off Tuesday." The club also used silk-screen printing to create free reusable tote bags imprinted with “Going Green—Pacific Union College,” as an effort to reduce plastic waste.

Green Week continued on Wednesday with "Walking Wednesday" as students were encouraged to walk where they would usually drive.

On Thursday, the campus enjoyed an installment of the Colloquy Speaker Series presented by Cheryl Peters, the director and cofounder of the TakeTEN program at St. Helena Hospital. Peters spoke on the power of fresh, plant-based foods for better health and environmental benefits.

The school week ended with "Fresh Food Friday," a collaboration between the Green Club and Bon Appetit, PUC’s food service provider.

“For 'Fresh Food Friday,' we actually collaborated [with the Dining Commons] to create all healthy, wholesome, and fresh foods to serve,” said Crystal Lauw, vice president of Green Club and a junior biology major. “All the food was low carbon local food removing emissions from transportation.”

“Less processed food uses fewer resources,” Teddy commented. “There’s less packaging. There’s no water used to cook or process it in any way. It’s going back to nature. The fresher food is, the better it is for you—the more moisture it has, the more nutrients—the better it is for the environment as well.”

The club also organized a fair on Thursday with representatives from campus and community organizations providing tools for sustainability, while the PUC Recycle Center created a display of a day’s waste from the campus outside the Dining Commons.

“I thought the school’s focus on the environment during Green Week was great,” remarked freshman Micaela Ballew. “It’s nice to have a week with all these events and presentations that help us live more environmentally friendly lives at school.”