Greenstock Festival Organizer Ellie Mersereau ’18 Finalizes Last Eco-Detail

For years, Bowdoin’s annual Greenstock Festival did everything green, going so far as to offer compostable forks, spoons, and dishware. But the tie-dye station posed a dilemma for festival organizer Ellie Mersereau ’18. Cleaning up the buckets of leftover dye at the end of the day, and seeing the run-off seeping into the ground, made her determined to find an environmental alternative.

After experimenting with turmeric and blueberries last year, she was was ready this year to stew up blue, red, yellow, and purple dyes made from berries, spices, and vegetables. She said that Greenstock, and its many offerings, is a fun way to remind students that the campus has a culture of caring about the environment. “It comes with the title of being a Bowdoin student,” she said.

Last Saturday afternoon, to a background of live music preformed by student bands, students tasted cookies baked in a solar-powered oven or brought their bicycles around for a free tune up. The campus’s environmental clubs — Bowdoin Climate Action, Green Bowdoin, Green Athletics, Plant-based Polar Bears, Bowdoin Organic Garden, and the Yellow Bike Club — presented their info at tables.

Bowdoin’s Sustainability Outreach Coordinator Bethany Taylor said the afternoon event is about building community. “Sustainability is about so much more than kilowatt hours and metric tons of recycling—it is about how we are in the world and how we interact with each other in community,” she noted. “While a small annual green music festival on a quad is not going to drastically change the PPM of atmospheric carbon or our compost tonnage, it does bring people together in a spirit of community and celebration, and reminds everyone that as dire as environmental threats and realities are, it’s important to have fun.”


Photos by Ann Basu ’20 and Savannah Simmons-Grover ’18

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