Tenth Harvest Fest Introduces Students to Environmentally-Friendly Options

ecopledge harvest fest

Fresh foods, ready-to-paint pumpkins, and a cohort of conscious consumers will fill Stokes Lawn this Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the 10th annual Harvest Fest, an event hosted by EcoPledge and the Undergraduate Government of Boston College (UGBC).

This Friday’s Harvest Fest will showcase a variety of autumnal activities and samplings. Eco-friendly vendors like Dates and Olives, Equal Exchange, and Bfresh will offer environmentally conscious food products to students. With midterm season in full swing, EcoPledge members will also hand out homemade, organic spa products.

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about easy, inexpensive, and efficient ways to help the environment.

Kate Weingartner, president of EcoPledge and CSOM ’18, said the purpose of Harvest Fest is to educate students.

“The primary goal of Harvest Fest is to educate the student body,” Weingartner said. “If students are informed, they can make positive decisions regarding food purchases, especially during the harvest and holiday seasons.”

As the largest sustainability group on campus, EcoPledge has worked with BC Dining Services and various campus organizations to enact change and spread awareness about ecological issues.

Each academic year, EcoPledge anchors events and campaigns around a theme. This year, the organization’s theme is conscious consumerism—the act of purchasing products or services produced via ecologically friendly methods. Examples of eco-conscious products include notebooks produced with recycled paper, animal cruelty-free beauty products, and organic fruits and vegetables grown locally.

“We want to show students how their small choices can make a big impact, not only for their own health, but also for the health of the planet,” Weingartner said.

EcoPledge’s conscious consumer initiative comes in light of Pope Francis’s 2015 encyclical “Laudato Si.” In the letter, the pope urges the global community to choose a life marked by care for the environment, beyond economic and market constructs that promote mass production and consumption.

“Where profits alone count, there can be no thinking about the rhythms of nature, its phases of decay and regeneration, or the complexity of ecosystems which may be gravely upset by human intervention,” Francis said in his encyclical.

In addition to organizing events like Harvest Fest and Green Week, EcoPledge’s event-planning committee brings speakers to campus, educating the student body about climate change and ecology. Last year, EcoPledge played an integral role in organizing the conference “Our Common Home,” which explored the impact of the pope’s encyclical.

“College is the perfect time to make sustainable changes in consumer habits,” Weingartner said. “College-aged students are often willing to listen and act.”

Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor