When it comes to saving the planet, Worcester State students are all in. More than 1,000 of them turned out for a two-day, campus-wide Sustainability Fair last week to learn how to do just that.
With lessons ranging from “bike tune-up basics” to “eating organic on a budget,” attendees learned tips they can use every day to reduce their carbon footprints and promote healthier, more secure food. Several movies shown outlined the problems caused by climate change, agribusiness, food modification and fossil fuel consumption, while a series of “teach-ins” offered steps for addressing those problems.
The fair was expanded from a one-day to a two-day format this year in order to accommodate growing student interest, says Steven Bandarra, WSU’s sustainability coordinator, who helped run the fair. “We also included a new series of 20-minute mini-workshops,” he adds.
A farmers market showcasing organic foods and tours of Worcester State University’s community garden, located adjacent to the Chandler Magnet School, rounded out the offerings. More than 20 area organizations exhibited, including 350-Mass, Earn-a-Bike, the Greater Worcester Land Trust and the Worcester Tree Initiative.
“We hope to build on our success to make it even better next year,“ says Bandarra. He thanked student and faculty participants, as well as fair organizers Associate Professor of Physical and Earth Sciences Patricia Benjamin, Ph.D, and Professor of Urban Studies and Executive Director of the Intergenerational Urban Institute Maureen Power, Ph.D., Director of Dining Services Richard Perna and intern Nicole Michaud.
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