Sustainability Week features green resources at GVSU

By Andrew Schertzer | 10/26/16 11:13pm

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GVL/Mackenzie Bush - Emily Smith (left), Lexi Henckel (middle), Skylar Swifink (right) and Maddie Buning (far right) cut and prepare winter squash at the Sustainable Agriculture Project Monday, Oct. 24, 2016 during the Fresh From the Garden event.

by Mackenize Bush / Grand Valley Lanthorn

This year at Grand Valley State University, a once-celebrated week has made its return. Oct. 22-30 is Sustainability Week at GVSU. This is a week full of events to spread awareness about keeping the environment clean.

“We don’t just want to just spread awareness around campus," said Amanda Rodgers, a graduate assistant in the Office of Sustainability. "Our end goal is to equip students with environmental knowledge as they go out into the workforce, and also to use us as a resource."

Last week a tree planting event took place Saturday, Oct. 22 and several other events are leading up through the week.

Yumiko Jakobcic, the campus sustainability coordinator at GVSU, reflected on her times with nature, and said she had a lot of experience with it.

“When I was a kid, there were so many wonderful memories, and it will always be important to me,” she said.

The Brewery Vivant’s Kris Spaulding event will take place Wednesday, Oct. 26. Spaulding will speak on behalf of Grand Rapids' Brewery Vivant on the topic of sustainability in the brewing business. Later in the week, more events are planned, including a zero-waste football game Saturday, Oct. 29 and a 5K walk by Wesley Walks Sunday, Oct. 30.

Jakobcic said hundreds of students are expected to show up to events throughout the week.

“The events were a lot of fun in the past, and we just wanted to bring that back to students,” Rodgers said.

With Sustainability Week in full swing, the Office of Sustainability Practices is looking to spread awareness, show students how to be sustainable and to let them know that the office can help.

“Students don’t really even know we exist. (We) want them to be able to come to us with great ideas on how to help the environment," Rodgers said. "Years ago, we had a student with the idea for a water-filling station, and now they are all over campus.”

With so many events, speeches, and activities coming up it is important to not let the overall purpose be overshadowed, Jakobcic said. The entire week is leading up to recycling and cleaning up after football games.

“When you see the impact of what we can do collectively to help the environment, it baffles my mind,” she said.

“GVSU is only a college campus and can help so much. I can only imagine if the NFL, or other organizations, did what we do on a bigger scale," Rodgers said. "The landfills would be so much better.”

To learn more, visit www.gvsu.edu/sustainablity.

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