Eco-Fest encourages students to go green
The Seton Hall Ecology Club, along with the Student Government Association, held ECO-Fest on-campus on Earth Day, April 22, to raise awareness about staying eco-friendly on-campus.
Andriana Fragola, the ecology club co-president, said other organizations such as the Holistic Health and Yoga Club, and even the Office of Housing and Residence Life, participated in the all-day event, which went from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on The Campus Green.
Activities included food trucks, giveaways, contests, a rock wall and tables to engage students in learning about keeping their lifestyle eco-friendly. The SHUcycle tree, made of plastic bottles, also made an appearance on the Green, and any students who posted to the SHUcycle social media sites in March were eligible to win a free blue reusable water bottle.
As for staying green on campus, “there are options that people don’t know about,” Fragola said.
She stressed that Seton Hall does recycle, and students should utilize recycling bins, but be conscious of what they are putting in them.
“We do recycle and we’re single stream recycling so you can put any recyclable product into the recycling bin,” she said.
However, if students throw in something that cannot be recycled, for example, a pizza box with grease and cheese on it, the contents of the entire bin could be thrown out.
“So that’s one thing, for students to be conscious of what you are throwing in there,” Fragola said.
She also suggested ideas like printing class assignments on double-sided paper and using e-books.
“Also there’s a garden on campus that any student can go into and they can go and take any food out,” Fragola said.
It is located behind the University Center, and has vegetables such as kale, spinach and cucumber.
Dr. Judith Stark, director of the environmental studies program, also shared some insight on how students can incorporate nature into their lives and stay eco-friendly in light of the Earth Day festivities.
“The South Mountain Reservation is a jewel that we have available to us,” she said. “So that’s one thing. Students, get off campus, get up there, and find out what the work that’s being done.” (More information on this is available at www.somocon.org).
Stark also has another suggestion.
“Become informed about climate change and don’t give up,” she said. “There are many things that can be done.”
Stark recommended carpooling when possible and making carbon offset donations. She also suggested that students become “weekday vegetarians.”
“Try to cut down on the amount of meat, especially beef, for one’s own health and for the health of the planet because it takes enormous amounts of grain and water to produce just one pound of beef,” she said.
Overall, Fragola considered the ECO-Fest a success and hopes to make this an annual event.
“Just the smallest thing can help, just being aware and appreciative of the planet that we’re on I think that’s the biggest message of today,” she said.
Mary Marshall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.