ASG to hold Environmental Day of Service to promote sustainability

Emily Chin, Reporter

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Associated Student Government is planning its first Environmental Day of Service, a new event that allows students to volunteer at local environmental organizations.

The event, which will be held Nov. 15, will involve six different environmental groups.

ASG is partnering with Evanston TreeKeepers, the Evanston Environmental Association, The Talking Farm, Endless Greens, the Evanston ReBuilding Warehouse, and Northwestern’s Students for Ecological and Environmental Development.

Medill sophomore Christina Cilento, ASG vice president of sustainability, said she hopes about 100 students sign up for the event.

Volunteers will be performing tasks such as preparing farms for the winter, removing invasive species, mulching and doing litter cleanup, Cilento said.

“We tried to get a diverse picking of service opportunities so students will see something that will interest them and get more involved,” she said.

As an added incentive for students to participate, volunteers will earn points for signing up and attending the event. The points will go toward Green Cup, a month-long competition that promotes sustainability on campus. Students in Greek houses and residence halls gain points in the competition by attending Green Cup events and saving energy and water, said Weinberg sophomore Sara Johns, Green Cup Chair for SEED.

Johns said she plans on attending the Environmental Day of Service but hasn’t chosen an organization to volunteer with yet.

“I’m really excited for it,” she said. “It really focuses on the environmental service and sustainability, and I think the organizations we’re helping will allow students to get a more hands-on experience with environmental work that they do.”

Weinberg sophomore Miranda Liu, who is organizing the day of service with Cilento, said the project was inspired by the annual philanthropy event NU Gives Back. Liu said organizers wanted to make the new service day a more local initiative. She said she hopes to allot about 20 volunteer slots per organization.

“It’s not hard to get involved with the local Evanston community as a Northwestern student,” she said.

Cilento added she hopes students will engage more with environmental communities.

“I hope students realize that they don’t have to create a solar-powered car or something to help the cause,” she said. “They can give back in really small ways every day.”

Signups will be held from Oct. 19 to Nov. 1, and breakfast and T-shirts will be provided at the event.