Sunday, September 6, 2009

Not too Green in the Green Space: SAC Fair Review

Today was the day of the SAC Fair, that day at the start of the school year when every club goes into full-out recruitment mode and when suddenly freshman are the most popular folks on campus.

However, I would like to use this piece to express my dismay about the wastefulness exhibited throughout the Fair, a sad by-product of this fun annual event.

The wastefulness of the SAC Fair appears on a few different fronts.

1) Paper: If you get someone to sign up for your club, you do not need to give them five quartersheets, too. So much paper gets used and wasted during the recruitment efforts. Obviously, as we all do with free stuff, everyone takes whatever is given to them, but all of those quartersheets will end up in the trash (or hopefully, the recycling).

For our table, I printed out all of our sign-up sheets on old club flyers (if not just double-sided). I am a rarity in that I enjoy taking down old flyers, but I think that there is a lot of value in extending the lifespan of the materials that you use. If you can print on the backs of other sheets (and I have done so at SAC before, so it's possible), then you should---at the very least it saves money on paper!

2) Recycling: Bottles, cans, and pizza boxes dominated the trash cans throughout Copley Lawn and Red Square. Outdoor events on campus (not to vindicate those indoors entirely) tend to generate tremendous amounts of waste, and often the recycling containers are not as convenient as the trash cans (especially when extra trash cans are set up for the event).

Brainstorming the Solution:
If I remember correctly, Outdoor Education had worked on putting together a "how to run a green event" guide before, and this is something that I would like to see promoted and integrated into the system. The best way to make the change is to institutionalize the improvement.

Although priority number one for next year should be to (actually) have the logistics improved, I think it could also be fun to brainstorm creative ways to make use of the old pizza boxes et al. Maybe my EcoAction peers (alas, I will be gone next year) can build something at the table? Add some more life to the event while extending the life of the materials---why not?

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