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Students go green for sustainability week

The inaugural GreenFest March 4-8 celebrates sustainable living.

More than 20 student groups and units have come together to promote sustainability on campus next week.

“We want the impact of GreenFest to extend beyond the week,” says Ty Greene (PHE/Artsci’13), commissioner of the environment and sustainability for the Alma Mater Society. “We hope students will connect with committees and clubs during the festival and stay involved with sustainability issues throughout their years at Queen’s.”

The Queen’s Sustainability Office has hosted Earth Day activities in previous years, but it was looking for ways to promote sustainability more broadly. When a week-long celebration was suggested, students were excited by the idea and several groups stepped up to help organize GreenFest.

Mr. Greene and his sustainability counterparts, Jack Wallace at the Society of Graduate and Professional Students and Tamrong Teo with the Main Campus Residents’ Council, worked closely with the Sustainability Office. They also partnered with Students in Free Enterprise, the Earth Centre, Queen’s Backing Action on Climate Change, and graduate students from the School of Environmental Studies.

“We have been impressed by the students’ enthusiasm for GreenFest,” says Aaron Ball, Queen’s Sustainability Manager. “The scope of the festival would not have been possible without their collaborative efforts.”

GreenFest runs March 4-8 with a sustainability theme for each day. An information fair on the final day of GreenFest will bring all of the groups together inside Wallace Hall to give the Queen’s community ideas for living more sustainably.

Other highlights of GreenFest include:

• A Climate Action Plan update on March 4
• The third annual Queen’s Conference on Water hosted by Students Taking Responsible Initiatives for a Viable Environment (STRIVE) and the Earth Centre on March 6
• Bike workshops on March 7

The Get Caught Greenhanded campaign returns this year and will run throughout GreenFest. People seen doing sustainable acts will be entered in a draw for prizes. Festival organizers will also give prize ballots to people who attend any event during the week.

Visit the GreenFest website for more information and a complete schedule.