Shenandoah University students, faculty and staff took the university’s “green” temperature with a series of sustainability-based events during the week leading up to Earth Day on April 22.”
“Greenweek 2018 is run by a few different entities that are all in support of sustainability initiatives on campus in support of, and in conjunction with, Earth Day, which is this Sunday,” said Shenandoah Outdoor and Adventure Recreation and Greenworks Coordinator Katie Hecker. “On Earth Day, students will participate through social media and win some interesting prizes.”
“Shenandoah Greenworks, a work-study located in Cooley Hall, works in partnership with the university community to reduce waste and promote sustainability. Greenworks maintains the campus community garden and a swap shop, where members of the university community can pick up gently used items like small appliances and furnishings, for free.”
A new student group on campus, Project Planet, is also passionate about sustainability on campus and provided volunteer support for Greenweek. “They just started this semester, and they’ve already been voted the “Best New Organization” on campus, which is very exciting.
Also, the university’s environmental studies department also participates in Greenweek each year with events geared toward waste such as stream cleanups and environmental documentary screenings.
While Greenweek casts a spotlight on sustainability at Shenandoah, the university’s dedication to reusing, reducing and recycling is far more than a weeklong effort.
“Physical Plant is the true spearhead of waste consumption on campus, as they are the ones who handle it on the day to day basis,” Hecker said.
“So much of what I do on a daily basis is related to campus sustainability and environmental stewardship,” said Director of Physical Plant Barry Schnoor. “It’s just how we live.”
The concept for Greenweek is to address one specific issue per day.
On Monday, April 16, Trash Audit Day, students and staff sorted through the day’s “trash” with the Greenworks crew to see what they were throwing away that could be reused or recycled.
Then, on Tuesday, April 17, Fair Trade Day, brought vendors, like My Neighbor and Me, a shop from Berryville, Virginia, that sells fair trade items, to the Brandt Student Center to promote and sell fair trade products from producers around the world.
Greenworks students and staff teamed up with Physical Plant and local energy companies on Wednesday, April 18, Energy Awareness Day, by jazzing up the quad with a variety of energy sources, from coal to wind turbines to solar panels.
On Thursday, April 19, students, faculty and staff were encouraged to bike or walk to class for Green Transportation Day. Participants received “I walked/biked to class” stickers and were encouraged to post photos of themselves walking or biking to a social media outlet with the hashtag #SUGreenWeek and tag @SUStudentLife to be entered into a drawing to win one of two Shenandoah bookstore gift cards.
“When you turn your engine off and on, it uses so much more gas than if you park your car and walk around campus,” said Hecker.
Finally, Greenworks hosted its finale on Friday, April 20 with a Green Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Day and Carnival with fun activities and games and a chance to win sustainable reusable prizes.