Spring into green
As spring has finally sprung, so has a brighter hue of green.
Environmentally conscious students, staff and businesses united in the Student Union on Thursday as part of the Environmental Student Association's first Sustainability Bazaar.
Twenty-five eco-friendly businesses in Western New York came to participate in the event to inform students about the green possibilities in life.
Liz Alnutt, a junior biological science major and an intern for the Environmental SA, was in charge of coordinating the Sustainability Bazaar, which took a semester of planning to complete.
By informing students about what they can do to help the environment, Alnutt is confident that the carbon footprint can be significantly reduced.
"[The Environmental SA] wants UB to be more sustainable, meaning that we need to use resources that can be used again in 50 years," Alnutt said.
A huge variety of businesses and organizations were represented, from wilderness preservation, like the Association for Wild Animal Rehabilitation and Education, to public transportation, such as Buffalo Care Share.
"The main reason that we're doing this is two-fold: one is for helping UB students and the other is for the people of Buffalo and their environmental needs," said Chris Llop, director of the Environmental SA.
Llop hopes that by garnering more student interest, both the administration and students will be better able to work in tandem and bigger strides can be made in the green movement.
"It's one thing [for students] to push the administration to [go green], but if students aren't [doing it themselves], then it's kind of hypocritical," Llop said. "We want to teach [students] that they have the ability to make simple choices that will make things better."
Students were shown that what they choose to eat could make an impact on the environment. Organic coffee was provided by CVS and a make-your-own granola station was set up for hungry passersby.
Students also had the chance to learn about the critters that call wilderness their home. Owls, insects and reptiles were all in attendance and handlers were more than eager to talk about their injured pals.
Judy Fisher, a distributor for Shaklee, an eco-conscious cleaning product company, was excited by the turnout of the event.
"I always thought that college kids had no interest in [going] green at all," Fisher said. "But kids are actually reading the information and learning. This is a great event. I'll come back every year for as long as they have [the bazaar]."
Marcy McMahon, a sophomore psychology major, believes that immersing students in a culture of green on campus with events like the Sustainability Bazaar will allow the movement to become more of a permanent reality.
"When you're constantly bombarded with [the green movement], you start to think it's normal," McMahon said.
Tierney McMahon, a freshman psychology major, has always tried to do her part in helping to save the environment.
"I always try reusing things, like [not] buying new notebooks every semester," McMahon said.
The Environmental SA is satisfied with the growing support that it has received in the past few months and is happy that several clubs have reached out, wanting to collaborate with the organization.
One of the organization's goals is to make going green easier.
The latest project the Environmental SA is working on is an electronic recycling drive where students can bring in their old cell phones, computers and other devices to be recycled.
Alnutt believes that it is the responsibility of younger people to get involved now so that the earth will be a safer place for others in the future.
"We're a campus of 30,000 students – pretty soon, we're going to be making the decisions that older people are making for us, so it's important to be informed," Alnutt said.