By Sarah Frazer || Contributing Writer
As the first full week of classes began again at F&M, coming on the heels of record-breaking temperatures this summer, the Environmental Action Alliance (EAA), an F&M club dedicated to environmental sustainability, hosted Sustainability Week. This annual, week-long effort to promote environmental conservation and to raise awareness about environmental issues focused, this year, on wildlife.
The festivities included events every day of the week. On Monday, there was an opportunity for students to learn about track casting. Tuesday focused on learning about pollinators, observing bees, and learning about pollinator gardens, which are a much more sustainable option than lawns. Also on Tuesday was the first EAA meeting, as well as a trip led by Dr. Sarah Dawson to go herping (searching for amphibians and reptiles in a swamp area). On Wednesday, Dr. Dawson gave a talk about coexisting with wildlife, specifically coyotes, whose habitats are being taken away by an increasing human population. On Thursday, there was a sustainability-themed Common Hour talk, with a reception afterwards. Friday’s event allowed students the opportunity to participate in a bird watch, and to plant herbs. Finally, Saturday there was a Welcome Back Cookout.
All of these events are intended to get students engaged with and more educated about sustainability issues and the ways in which they can get involved on campus. This goal, as EAA President, Briana Krewson explains, is incredibly important, as “the environment is dying” and it is our job to “care about the things around [us].” According to Krewson, people can often be “unaware and choose ignorance,” when what we all should being doing instead is being more “active about what [we] can save.” Moreover, “it’s time for all of humanity to give back to Mother Nature. Earth is our home and our only home.” Having said all this, the biggest takeaway from Sustainability Week is not merely to emphasize how deeply the environment is in trouble, but rather, to show people that, as Krewson says: “We can change things and turn them around.” During Sustainability Week, students learned about how to better coexist with their natural surroundings and make small, positive decisions in their everyday lives that will ultimately help save the environment.
Krewson encourages interested students to join, stating that EAA is “really opening and welcoming” to new members. For anyone who loves the earth, wants to learn more, or just hang out with and be around people who are focused on a common goal, consider joining. EAA meets every Tuesday night at 7:00 PM in the Sustainability Cafe. If you’d like to support sustainability efforts and EAA in another way, you can also attend the Fair Trade Cafe, hosted by EAA every Wednesday from 11:30 AM -1:00 PM. It is also in the Sustainability Cafe in the Wohlsen Center, and food costs $4 for a tasty bowl of soup and grilled cheese, or $2 for each separately. By going to Fair Trade Cafe, you will be “putting [your] money where it really matters,” says Krewson. Future plans for EAA include apple picking, going to Millport Conservatory (which is owned by F&M) to help clean up and get rid of the invasive species there, and hosting a Fair Trade Cafe with special guest President Porterfield.
Sophomore Sarah Frazer is a contributing Writer. Her email is email@example.com.