From being the first college in the country to implement the Break Free From Plastics program in 2019 to placing fishing line receptacle tubes along the seawall, student organizations at Eckerd College have led the charge to increase environmental consciousness on campus. As the ambitions of these clubs grow, so does their need for support and student involvement.
This Friday, Feb. 11, a collection of environmental clubs and organizations on campus called the Green Team will be hosting an environmental fair showcasing clubs and programs around campus that promote sustainability and environmental work. This event will run from 3-5 p.m. in Hough Quad, near the Triton Pub and Fox Hall. Credit for college program series (CPS) will be offered, and clubs such as Reduce Single-Use and the Ornithological Society will be highlighted.
Chloe McKenna, a junior majoring in environmental studies and animal studies, is a prominent organizer of this fair. McKenna has been involved with the Eckerd College Organization of Students (ECOS) Environmental Responsibility Committee and Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) since her first year. She has also been leading PIRG’s Reduce Single Use campaign since last fall.
While there was a similar event held remotely last year, McKenna is especially excited about having the opportunity to hold this fair in person.
“We wanted to make this interactive,” McKenna said. “Tables will have activities. There’s even going to be a raffle with products from Sans Market.”
Sans Market, in Downtown St. Petersburg focused on providing zero waste products from cleaning supplies and clothes to deodorant and Q-tips. Along with the fun of the fair, there are many opportunities for students to get involved with these clubs. McKenna is working with Sans Market to have a zero waste store in the Pub on campus.
“There’s a separation between interest and action,” McKenna said. “It’s so important to engage students and show them the opportunities they have.”
Along with McKenna, junior Makayla Doran has played a large role in the organization of this event. Doran started working with the Reduce Single-Use campaign in the spring of 2021. As of this past fall, she is the intern for the Office of Sustainability.
“It’s important for students to want to make a change,” Doran said. “We want to make students know that their voice can be heard.”
Along with providing opportunities to try clubs and other programs, organizations will be offering paid job opportunities for students. Doran and McKenna are hoping for a large turnout at the fair, as these clubs are asking for as many students as possible to help them achieve their goals.
“There are a lot of groups coming that students might not know about,” Doran said. “It’s all about getting students involved and excited to help.”
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