When most students think about October, they think about pumpkin picking, scary movies and haunted hayrides.
However, if you are environmentally minded, you might know that October is also Campus Sustainability Month. For environmentalists, this month is a time for educating others and helping campuses become greener.
Campus Sustainability M onth originally started out as just a day. It was first developed in October 2003 by the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP). SCUP produced a webcast on Campus Sustainability Day in order to encourage students to acknowledge and discuss sustainability and how it impacts their community on campus. In 2011, a team of organizations including The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), and Second Nature expanded the annual webcast to reach a broader range of campuses across the nation. In 2015, AASHE changed Campus Sustainability Day into Campus Sustainability Month in recognition of its continuing growth and success.
Today, hundreds of campuses across the world come together in celebration of Campus Sustainability Month. Each college celebrates differently by showing informative webcasts, movies, doing cleanups, planting trees or cooking meals that are sourced locally — organic, vegetarian or vegan. However, the goal of each college’s sustainability month is the same: to inspire students and reduce the campus’ carbon footprint.
Rider has been participating in Campus Sustainability Day since 2008, shortly after sustainability manager Melissa Greenberg arrived. Organizations like the Sierra Club, Citizens Climate Lobby, and Lawrence Nature Center have come to Rider in past years to join.
“I feel like it is important to learn about sustainability now more than ever,” sophomore elementary education major Brooke Fabricant said, “I never really thought about the environment until all these crazy hurricanes started.”
The latest Green Film, Before the Flood, displays the effect climate-related disasters can have. The film discusses the startling impact our behavior has on the planet and was shown specifically for October’s sustainability month.
Sophomore environmental science major Starla Newman commented on the film. “It was shocking to see the effects humans have on the climate because if you are not personally impacted by climate change, you aren’t really going to notice that you are destroying the world.”
The sustainable actions we take today can change a grim future.
Although there is never a bad time to get involved with sustainability, October is a great month to start. This past Saturday was Make a Difference Day which is the largest national day of community service. Rider University’s Offices of Service Learning and Greek Life partnered up to offer opportunities for Broncs to volunteer on campus, down the street and across the state. If you missed this day, you can keep it in mind for next year.
Rider’s Office of Sustainability will be celebrating Campus Sustainability Day on Thursday, Oct. 26. Join us from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the SRC Atrium to learn more about our sustainable campus and how you can make a difference on our campus and in our community.
Printed in the 10/25/17 issue.