This month marks the second annual Climate Days event series, which celebrates the College's commitment to make Bowdoin carbon neutral by 2020. The event series this month will culminate the year-long efforts of President Barry Mills's Climate Commitment Advisory Committee's (CCAC) to publicize the College's commitment to sustainability and encourage student discourse on environmental issues.
The CCAC worked with Sustainable Bowdoin as well as faculty, staff and students to put together the four major events marking this month's celebration: the "How are YOU committed?" film competition, the Locavore dinner, the B-mail campaign, and the Greenstock party.
According to its organizers, the Climate Days Event series hopes to promote the idea of collaboration for climate change on campus; in particular, the film competition and the B-mail campaign invite students to participate by submitting their opinions on the environment.
Lucas Delahanty '10, President of the Bowdoin Film Society, submitted a film clip to the competition on water conservation, "inspired by actual events," he said. His film aims to communicate how excessively water can be wasted in college, with humorous clips of a roommate who takes two or three showers a day.
"Water is a cheap resource that we often overlook," said Delahanty. His clip includes tips to conserve water and insight into "how much goes into getting water from its reservoir to your shower head."
Top nominees for the video competition will be showcased during the Locavore Dinner on Thursday, April 22 in Thorne Hall.
The B-mail campaign is part of the CCAC's effort to directly ask students for their thoughts on the environment, according to Brooks Winner '10, a member of the CCAC and Sustainable Bowdoin. They are looking for "honest answers on whether the environment really matters," he said. "We want to hear what people think about what the environment means to them, what they think of the College's sustainability work," he said.
B-mail postcards are scattered around campus and can be dropped off in Smith Union box 975. The postcards will be on display at the Locavore dinner, and offer students "an anonymous way of submitting what they think," said Winner.
Climate Days will culminate with the Greenstock concert on Saturday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. at Quinby House. CCAC member Sarah Pritzker '11, who has been primarily in charge of putting together the event, said, "it's really just to celebrate sustainability, to make it interesting for people who aren't necessarily interested in the politics of it."
Musical acts Emily Schonberg, Avi and Celia, and &AGRAVE; La Dopeness will perform at Greenstock. Local beer, local organic food, and activities such as "make your own granola" and recyclable art will be available for students to try.
Greenstock, along with the entire Climate Days events series, is sponsored by a wide range of departments and groups such as Green Global Initiatives, the Bowdoin Musical Collective (BMC) and The Evergreens.
Adding to the wide number of climate awareness events this month is tomorrow's Eco-Service Day, an event that invites students to volunteer for a few hours to do eco-friendly activities.
"It's a really good opportunity to volunteer on a smaller scale, to focus on more environmental issues," said Pritzker.
Winner said that the aim of this year's Climate Days program is to continue the dialogue started last year, when the College unveiled its plan to achieve carbon neutrality.
"This year we are looking into smaller projects, following up with the plan [for neutrality], and making adjustments for the economy," said Pritzker.
Winner said that this year's event series is different in its distribution of events. The "events this year are more spread throughout the semester -last year everything was packed into a week or two," referring to the DJ Spooky performance and the Green Jobs panel that appeared in previous months.
Because of the broad scope of the Climate Days events and the wide-ranging impact of the College's commitment to sustainability, the CCAC has collaborated with a number of departments on campus, ranging from communications to environmental studies to facilities management. As Winner said, the work of the CCAC is in every sense "a collaboration" of the entire Bowdoin community.
According to Winner, all of the Climate Days events speak to the original mission of the CCAC and Sustainable Bowdoin.
"The committee has tried to make this an open conversation...to engage as many people on campus as possible," said Winner.
According to Pritzker, the committee is "responsible for planning events that generate awareness of conscientiousness of environmental issues on campus."
"The original inspiration was to try to get as much of the Bowdoin community involved and aware," said Winner.