Sustainability Day brings awareness
THE SANTA CLARA
October 23, 2014
Students browsed racks of vibrant tie-dye t-shirts, bandanas and tapestries set out on the lawn in front of the Harrington Learning Commons on Wednesday. The merchandise was handmade by LuSid Dream Clothing, a local business founded by Santa Clara student Colin Muller.
Muller buys his dyes from Dharma Trading Co., a supplier that sends materials to customers in recycled boxes.
“Besides, you know, tie dye’s inherent support for environmentalism and environmentalist culture, the suppliers that I get my dyes and a lot of my dyable materials from are really sustainable,” said Muller.
LuSid Dream Clothing set up shop alongside 20 other vendors at the eighth annual Campus Sustainability Day, an event dedicated to promoting sustainable action. This year, the event had its highest turnout since it was first held in 2006, according to Cara Uy, Santa Clara’s sustainability coordinator.
The Office of Sustainability handed out Mission Sustainable water bottles as students signed up for a raffle at the LuSid Dream stand while KSCU, Santa Clara’s radio station, blasted music. On-campus organizations such as GREEN Club, the Multicultural Center and Super Smash Bros., as well as municipal organizations, including the Santa Clara Valley Water District and Bay Area Air Quality Management District, tabled at the event.
According to Uy, the fair informed people about sustainable practices and gauged student interest in the topic.
Santa Clara seniors Ellen Yun and Mateo Rodriguez, interns at Santa Clara Valley Water District, represented the organization at the event. They encouraged students to use water wisely and passed out five-minute sand timers to be placed on shower walls in order to decrease water use.
“(Students should) take short showers, obviously, only wash clothes when they have a full load — same thing with their dishwashers — and only water lawns in the wee hours,” Rodriguez said.
Representatives from Santa Clara’s Go Fossil Free! movement informed students that the group is striving to freeze any new investments Santa Clara has in fossil fuel extraction companies. If all goes as planned, Santa Clara’s administration will divest from direct ownership and commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds, within five years.
“We have yet to see interest in divestment from within the investment office,” said senior Lisa McMonagle, an active member of the divestment effort who was tabling at the event. “It’s great that our campus itself is really sustainable but this is a chance to be a part of a worldwide movement.”
Fossil Free SCU has met up with Santa Clara’s chief investment officer, John Kerrigan, on several occasions. However, according to McMonagle, these meetings “do not appear to have induced any forward momentum at all.”
In addition, the presence of clubs like Super Smash Bros., which brings members together to play the video game of the same name, demonstrated that groups that may not appear to be green organizations can still support the sustainable cause.
According to club member Winston Stromme, creating communities is an integral aspect of sustainability.
The Office of Sustainability will be hosting two more events supporting environmentalism this academic school year, including the annual Eco Fashion and Art show in February and Earth Day in April.
Contact Mallory Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.
*this article has been extended from its original print version