The Climate Days events of this past week and the "We're committed. Are you?" banners featuring a green "B" in the word Bowdoin are intended to showcase the College's commitment to "educating our community and promoting sustainability on campus." Over the course of the week those students who attended the events learned about important, contemporary, environmental issues like the importance of eating local foods, the environmental work which is happening at the College, the availability of green jobs to tie-dye and make organic granola. These last events, in addition to recyclable art and folk music, are part of tonight's Greenstock party. Instead of culminating what has otherwise been an impressive week of climate events that addressed current environmental challenges and featured such renowned speakers as Majora Carter, Greenstock merely perpetuates blatant and reductionist stereotypes about environmentalism and sustainability.

First, consider the name of the party. "Greenstock" takes its name from the 1969 Woodstock music festival—the quintessential hippie festival that was advertised as "three days of peace, love and music." By naming the culminating event of Climate Days after Woodstock—and going so far as to use the same images and design as the 1969 poster—the organizers reinforce stereotypes about environmentalists as hippies and sustainable living as a 1960s jam-fest. Moreover, a party like Greenstock only undermines the goal of Climate Days: to encourage greater participation in Bowdoin's sustainability efforts.

Greenstock sends the message that in order to care about sustainable living or combat climate change, one has to adopt a specific lifestyle. But there are many ways to live sustainably that do not entail making your own organic granola, wearing tie-dye shirts, and listening to folk music. We can understand homemade organic food—no wasted packaging if you make it yourself and the ingredients are produced without petrochemical fertilizers or insecticides—but did the organizers have to pick granola, the token hippie culinary choice? And since when did wearing a tie-dye shirt embody sustainability or reduce one's carbon footprint? Aren't most dyes chemical based?

These activities further an inaccurate, or at least very limited, conception of what 21st-century environmentalists should be. Greenstock could have appealed to a wider audience by featuring a variety of non-stereotypical sustainable living activities designed to pique the interest of all types of Bowdoin students. Instead, the organizers of Climate Days narrowed their audience by offering activities that appeal only to a small group of students, many of whom—if we had to guess—are already interested in environmental issues.

If Greenstock, which is being held at Quinby House, celebrated that social house's commitment to sustainable living, we would still argue that it perpetuated stereotypes, but we would not object to it all together. We enjoy a good theme party as much as anyone else. However because Greenstock is prominently featured in the Climate Days calendar, and is endorsed by and represents the College, it is all the more unfortunate. Endorsing a party like Greenstock has the potential to weaken the take-home message of Climate Days and advertises the College's superficial understanding of what makes one an environmental activist.

In addition, Greenstock is a setback to those students like us who already consider ourselves environmentalists. Whether we are majoring in Environmental Studies, pursuing a career in an environmental field or just interested in the subject, we already have to contend with the hippie stereotype since, as evidenced by Greenstock, our interests still associate us with the 1960s. While we commend the College for promoting a week of climate change action, we regret that the week should end with an event as cliché as Greenstock. We do not need yet another reminder, especially not from our own college, that caring about the environment often lends us to being branded in this narrow and outdated way.

Shelley Barron and Emily Guerin are members of the Class of 2009.