Live Green Event focuses on increased sustainability

On Wednesday Feb. 20 Geneseo celebrated its fifth annual Live Green Event with an expo in the College Union Ballroom. There were several departments, student groups and environmental organizations that had displays and planned activities designed to generate increased awareness about sustainability.

Geneseo’s Environmental Impact and Sustainability Task Force is one of the more recent organizations on campus dedicated to environmentalism. Its primary goal is to promote a change in conservation practices at Geneseo as well as waste reduction and the college’s overall ecological footprint.

According to lecturer of sociology and political science Jo Kirk, Geneseo received the green stamp of approval by the Princeton Review for collaborative student efforts to “think green” and for the successful implementation of a number of initiatives on campus.

Among the event co-sponsors was the Geneseo Environmental Organization, which promoted education about composting. GEO also set up a taste test of five different types of water in order to demonstrate their belief that tap water does not have a poor taste and to encourage students to reduce plastic bottle waste by drinking from reusable ones.

EcoHouse presented a display about charity: water, an organization devoted to supplying clean water to women and children in developing nations.

Assistant Residence Director of EcoHouse senior Allison Hoppe spoke about sustainability and environmentalism on campus and said, “It has been something that’s been growing in involvement and popularity throughout the university. The President’s Sustainability Commission demonstrates that there is a commitment by the institution to uphold these standards of maintaining and incorporating environmentally conscious practices into the curriculum.”

Jamie Carestio represented Frack Free Genesee, which is committed to banning hydrofracking in New York, specifically in the eastern Finger Lakes region and the Genesee Valley.

“I think it is important for people to realize that even if you feel removed from this issue, this industry will affect everybody. Nobody is immune from this,” Carestio said.

Representatives from the Geneseo Farmers Market were also present, promoting their campaign to live green and eat local.

The Genesee Valley Conservancy, a nonprofit environmental organization in Geneseo, offered a Bluebell Walk at the Indian Fort Nature Preserve, in addition to several other events, to students. According to its mission statement, the conservancy aims to “protect the habitat, open space and farmland of the Genesee Valley region.”

Senior Geneseo Opportunities for Leadership Development mentor Maya Shah explained the newest addition to the GOLD certificate options. According to Shah, the jade certificate focuses on environmentalism and is centered on the importance of sustainability issues that affect students’ lives. Shah said the certificate is available for those who are interested in this subject but do not necessarily understand all of the science behind it.