It takes about 660 gallons of water to produce one hamburger. The meat and dairy industries use about one-third of Earth’s fresh water. At Boston College’s second annual Earth Day Fair on Friday, stands displayed these facts, among others.
The fair aimed to educate students about their impact on the Earth and was sponsored by the Undergraduate Government of Environmental Caucus. The Earth Day Fair hosted different stations of food organizations, clubs, vendors, and academics that students could visit to learn how to make an impact on the Earth.
Students could grab a “passport” listing the different tables and organizations and check them off as they visited each table, with the opportunity to hand the passport in at the end and earn a free T-shirt or water bottle.
The food stations included Equal Food Exchange, Every Bite Counts, Real Food, and BC Dining. Here, students could sample different food items and learn about where they came from and how they were produced. The BC Dining station had more vegetarian options that they hope to incorporate into BC’s regular meal options.
“I didn’t know red meat was not that sustainable, so I liked the initiative of bringing more vegetarian options to our dining halls, and they actually tasted pretty good,” Ravi Dhouni, CSOM ’18, said after trying the Greek-style pasta salad.
The clubs at the fair included RHA, EcoPledge, Charity Water, Catholic Relief Services, the Geology Club, and BC Bikes, all displaying how students could get more involved on campus in different ways.
At the Charity Water table, students pledged to reduce their water footprint by eating less meat, taking shorter showers, and turning off the faucet while brushing their teeth.
“The intention of the Earth Day event was to make students more accountable for their impact on the environment, particularly their consumption of water,” Maggie Gorman, vice-president of Charity Water, MCAS ’18, said.
Other tables included L.L. Bean, Save that Stuff, BC Architect, the Office of Health Promotion, BC Energy Department, Earth and Environmental Sciences and Environmental Studies, Student Research, and Sea Semester.
“The main purpose of the Earth Day Fair is to educate students about sustainability and communicate that every human on the planet has the inherent responsibility to take care of the Earth,” said Carolyn Townsend, MCAS ’17 and director of environment and sustainability programming in student initiatives of UGBC. “And the way we’re doing that at BC is to show that it’s really easy to be sustainable and ‘be green’ and that there are a lot of resources on campus to do that.”
To educate students, organizers set up signposts on the Stokes Lawn that students could read on their way to class. One of these posts stated that the average American produces more than four pounds of garbage per day. Over the course of a year, that is more than 1,600 pounds of garbage per person.
“We really just want people to be aware of what’s going on in the world and how they can contribute, and that’s something as simple as composting, eating less meat, learning about climate change, about how BC recycles, and about what energy they can use,” Anxela Mile, MCAS ’17, said.
The UGBC student initiative of environment and sustainability programming worked closely with the administration to make the event as successful as possible. Particularly, they collaborated with Bob Pion, the sustainability program director.
“It’s not just student clubs,” Townsend said. “It’s about BC as a whole.”
Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor