Sustainable Bowdoin gears up
Since their well-publicized role in Maine Recycles Week
last semester, one of Bowdoin's most active and organized groups, Sustainable
Bowdoin, has been working hard to continue its mission. That is, as leader
Stacy Vynne put it, "[working towards] Bowdoin having as little impact
as possible on the local environment."
"Also, we're hoping we can save money for the school,"
School Recycling Coordinator Keisha Payson, who works closely
with the student group, echoed these sentiments. "We're working on
energy issues on campus, especially conservation
and also looking
for opportunities to save money and energy for the school."
Most of all, Sustainable Bowdoin is "trying to highlight
the benefits of sustainability to the administration," said Payson.
One main push in this direction is the group's work on developing an "Environmental
Mission Statement" for the College. Payson's office is working with
the Administration Subcommittee Student Group to write a document reflective
of student and administrative concerns.
"We're trying to take ideas from different schools
only a few out there with strict environmental mission statements,"
Ideally, the mission statement will be printed in the student
directory, online, and will be prepared in time for President Mills's
address to the Environmental Studies Department on March 4.
The group's various subcommittees are working on other projects
as well. The Reduce/Reuse portion has introduced reusable lunch bags and
coffee mugs to Bowdoin, as well as "Already Been Used" (ABU)
paper. The Purchasing subcommittee is researching other, more environmentally
conscious paper options besides the Boise-Cascade products currently purchased
by the College.
The Earth Week Subcommittee is working on ideas for Earth
Day on April 22 and the ensuing week. Thus far, the group is working on
bringing speakers and bands to highlight the occasion, as well as having
local organic food options in Moulton and Thorne Dining halls. Another
proposal would involve a campus party involving organic beer, but the
group has yet to commit, citing cost concerns. Sustainable Bowdoin is
soliciting ideas for activities during Earth Week; send any by email to
The Recycling Subcommittee has also been active, successfully
increasing the accessibility of recycling bins on campus. In the near
future, it plans to set up tables in Smith Union to loan out bins for
personal student use in dorm rooms. Discussions are underway with the
first-year student government about putting recycling bins in all freshman
dorm rooms by the end of this semester or the beginning of the next school
"It's fun I'm a senior," Vynne said "and four years ago, the school was doing nothing. So it's great to see all of what's happened in just four months."