Bowdoin has stretched Earth Day to a whole Earth Week, offering several days of environmentally themed activities and festivities.
The week launched April 18 with the annual Spring Service Day, when students volunteered at local environmental agencies, and it runs through Ivies this Saturday.
This year’s Ivies — Bowdoin’s annual campus-wide party — will be “zero-waste,” according to the Sustainability office.
“We will be composting all of our food and dining-ware at the Saturday concert with a Green Team staff of about 10-12 people and other volunteers,” said Keisha Payson, the coordinator for a Sustainable Bowdoin.
Between Spring Service Day and Ivies, Bowdoin students have been invited to “upcycle,” by decorating their plastic or glass bottles and their reusable bags at crafting events.
Educational signs have been placed around campus with information about campus sustainability and the different ways people can honor Earth Day.
Also, on Wednesday evening, the winner of a month-long energy competition between Colby and Bowdoin colleges was announced. Bowdoin won by reducing its electricity use by 8.6 percent. Colby reported a reduction of 6.9 percent. The Bowdoin dorm with the greatest reduction was Howell House, cutting its use by 30.9%.
For the first time, the two colleges faced off in the “Bowdoin vs. Colby Dorm Energy Competition” to see which school could reduce their energy consumption the most between March 30 and April 22.
Sponsored by the sustainability offices of both Colby and Bowdoin, the competition was designed to increase awareness about energy consumption and the little things students can do to make big changes in their dorms, according to Olivia Pfeifer ’16, who promotes events for Bowdoin’s Sustainability office. In total, the competition saved both colleges $2,873 and 17,061 pounds of CO2, the equivalent of taking three cars of the road for an entire year.
Students took the stairs rather than the elevator, unplugged appliances and chargers when not in use, and turned off lights.
Progress was tracked on Bowdoin’s Dashboard website to compare individual dorms and the two colleges.
For dinner at Thorne, students who work for the Bowdoin Organic Garden, also demonstrated (and offered samples to taste) how to make corn tortillas from scratch, using corn from Bowdoin’s garden and a traditional grinder commonly used in Latin America.
Later on Wednesday, Bowdoin Eco-Reps hosted an Earth Day Coffeehouse at Jack Magee’s Pub in the Smith Union, featuring a cappella groups and student bands, a raffle (only open to people who bring a reusable cup), and free hot drinks and desserts.
In between musical acts, the Eco-Reps provided sustainability tips.
Photographs by Busra Eriz ’16