Live Green Expo packs Union Lobby

In an effort to promote environmental awareness on campus, over a dozen organizations came together to put on a Live Green Expo in the College Union on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

The event, which was held in conjunction with Live Green Day, attracted large crowds of people, including many enthusiastic students and campus-community members.

"I think people need to be educated about this and the sooner, the better," said sophomore Rachel Svenson. "I am really glad the college has dedicated a day to this."

The expo presented numerous ways for students to conserve during everyday tasks like eating and doing laundry. Information on reducing carbon emissions during Spring Break was available as well, along with more green initiatives from Geneseo Environmental Organization.

The College Union and Activities table featured information on light pollution, which isn't a commonly thought of contributor to environmental degradation in the U.S. According to the International Dark-Sky Association, misdirected light costs over $1.5 billion annually. Expo information recommended students use outdoor lights with covers and motion sensors that will turn the light on only when it is approached by a person.

"It will save our universe," said freshman Bianca Gatto, referring to the environmental efforts showcased in the Union. "I already recycle. I also plan to exchange my light bulbs for more energy-efficient ones."

Wegmans grocery stores also participated in the event. Their table in the Union advertised numerous brands and products that endorse environmental standards and are frequently used by students. Laundry detergents that are more concentrated call for less uses per load. Upstate dairy products support local farmers, bringing revenue back to the local area. Also, reusable shopping bags are available at stores for patrons who wish to cut down on pollution and eliminate the infamous "Paper or plastic?" question.

On campus, Mac-Gray, the college's distributor of Maytag washers and dryers, plans to enhance the efficiency of these machines. According to a representative of Mac-Gray, the old top-loaders use approximately 30 gallons of water while the new front-loaders will use only 14. With a two-cycle-per-day average, 30 gallons of water will be saved daily, resulting in a major conservation of water.

Currently, six residence halls have energy-efficient machines with LaundryView service, allowing students to see online what machines are available and how much time is left in the cycle. The projected completion date of this project is fall 2009.

Other events took place on Live Green Day. Speaker Debra Rowe, the president of the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development, addressed the topic of "The Triple Bottom Line of Sustainability: Healthier Economies, Vibrant Ecosystems, Social Justice," in the Union Ballroom

In addition, a National Issues Forum Deliberative Dialogue was held in the Union Ballroom after Rowe's lecture. The discussion was titled, "The Energy Problem: Choices for an Uncertain Future."