With Earth Day just around the corner on April 22, the common phrase “go green” might be on our minds. But what does it mean to “go green?”
Here at John Carroll University, there’s a sole week dedicated to educating students and staff about this phrase, also called sustainability, as well as allowing different opportunities to put this into action.
Each day this week, different activities will be offered, as well as a unique theme to promote a more sustainable environment. Monday, March 31 was “Make a Change Monday.” This event was an open mic night, from 8 to 10 p.m. in the Underground that featured many performances by John Carroll students. There were also representatives from UNICEF, the Students for Social Justice’s fair trade committee and the “Clothes Closet” at the event to teach the audience about how they can make a change.
Sophomore Nicolle Simonovic, co-president of Environmental Issues Group, said, “Make a Change Monday was a great way to begin Green Streak Week. Those in attendance listened to wonderful open mic night performances of music and poetry from our very talented JCU performers, [and had the opportunity] to visit our table and pledge personalized changes that would promote sustainability in their lives.”
When asked about the overall success of the event, “master of ceremonies” for the event, sophomore Zak Zippert, said, “I think it went really well. We got to see some of the great talent John Carroll has to offer.”
Tuesday was “Take a Tour Tuesday.” Students met on Auxiliary Drive at 4 p.m. to see how Murphy Hall has become more sustainable and environmentally efficient. The tour allowed exclusive access to Murphy, therefore only allowing a limited number of students to participate.
On Wednesday, the event was called “Wise Up Wednesday.” From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Lombardo Student Center Atrium, students had the chance to learn more about sustainability at JCU, as well as in Ohio. The Enterprise Car Share program and the Alliance for the Great Lakes, along with other organizations, were present to discuss how to develop a more eco-friendly environment.
Thursday is called “Theater Thursday.” The movie “The Lorax” will be shown at 6:30 p.m. in the LSC Conference Room. Free refreshments will be provided.
Friday’s theme is “Field Trip Friday.” Thanks to the Bike Co-op program at JCU, students will have the opportunity to bike on the Shaker Lakes trail. Students will then bike to Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream to not only grab a sweet treat, but also to learn about sustainable business practices that Ben & Jerry’s incorporates into their business culture. This field trip will be from 4 to 6 p.m.
On “Shoreline Saturday,” students will be cleaning Edgewater Beach from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. After picking up litter, students will test the air and water quality. Transportation will be provided.
Throughout the week, different clubs and organizations will also help to promote a more eco-friendly environment. The dining hall will provide food that is sustainable, local, or organic in support of Green Streak Week.
This week is filled with many events to become a more sustainable campus. However, opportunities to become more eco-friendly do not end after this week. One of the major goals of this week “is to get the word out to promote a culture of sustainability,” according to Simonovic.
“If students need to go to Target or other places less than one mile away, they can check out a bike to get a little exercise, as well as cut down on the burning of fossil fuels,” said senior Andras Ponti, co-president of the Environmental Issues Group.
There are recycling bins in dorm rooms and classrooms to help promote a more sustainable environment.
Whether you prefer to attend open mic night, clean Edgewater Beach or participate in any of the other activities in between, Simonovic and Ponti encourage the JCU community to “come out and get your Green Streak on.”