Issue #1: Want to Help?

Dear Sustainable Abigail,

I spent a lot of time in High School helping with Sustainability and Environmental Initiatives, but have found since being at Bates that I don’t have the same amount of free time to get involved with sustainability here. I still want to chip in wherever I can, I’m just at a loss as to where and how.  If I don’t have time to be an EcoRep or join the environmental coalition, what is the best way to help sustainability efforts on campus?

-Just trying to do my part

Dear Just trying to do my part,

You’ve already made the first step towards a sustainable lifestyle: caring! You are not alone in your feelings, it is hard to fit sustainability into the crazy Bates schedule. Fortunately, there a lot of things you can do to still be a part of the environmental efforts. Everyday you can do all of the little things–turning off the lights in your dorm, unplugging electronics, not wasting food, taking shorter showers, etc. (Check out The Princeton Review’s article “15 Tips for Green Living in College” for a more exhaustive list of little things to do In terms of participating in the big things, try signing up for the Environmental Coalition listserv and looking out for the EcoReps monthly newsletters; each of these resources has information on upcoming Environmental Events and Rallies that may only demand a day or a few hours out of your busy schedule. One example is an event coming up on Sunday, October 8th that is right on campus: Ecoservice Day! You can join in cleaning up the puddle, trail maintenance on Mt. David, or raking leaves on the quad. All of these activities will then culminate in a massive community leaf jump on the quad at the end of the day! Another example of a way to get involved is the through the Bates Green Innovation Grant, a personal project that you create with the aim to further the college’s sustainability in an area of your choosing (energy, waste, water, food, etc.). If your innovative project gets chosen, it will be funded in between $200-$2000 and then implemented. These are just a few ways that Bates students can be empowered on campus to make real changes and sustainable choices, there are countless other ways to participate in environmental action. Ask your peers what they do to make a change; sustainability looks different for everybody, and every little bit helps!

-Sustainable Abigail


*Content originally published in The Bates Student Newspaper*