At Issue: Sustainability
(Page 2 of 4)
The teach-in was led by Sustainable SLC, the student environmental group co-chaired by Justin Butler ’10 and Sam Lipschultz ’09. The day included an Earth ritual in the Sarah Lawrence woods, faculty panels, a clothing exchange, a reception with locally grown food, and a bike ride to show students that they could get around without expanding their carbon footprint.
The event also featured a light bulb exchange, in which students and staff could trade in incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescents, which are four times as energy efficient.
At one of the faculty panels, environmental studies faculty member Karen Hoffman said that since the federal government has been reluctant to take action on climate change, it was up to states and localities to lead the movement to cut the emission of greenhouse gases.
“It has to be a movement from the bottom up,” she said.
Sarah Lawrence students have begun that movement on campus. During February, Sustainable SLC sponsored Footprint Forward Month, in which dorms and offices were competing to conserve energy and reduce their facility’s carbon footprint.
Students were urged to do simple things like turn off lights when leaving a room, do only a full load of laundry, turn off computers at night, unplug phone chargers when not in use, turn down thermostats, and take shorter showers.
Students say it’s also necessary to move beyond one’s personal actions to pressure policymakers to enact regulations that can cut greenhouse gases.
“It’s our responsibility to step up,” says Manglik. “Out of necessity, we have to respond.”
by David McKay Wilson