Students volunteer in first Environmental Day of Service

Peter Kotecki, Reporter

About 60 Northwestern students volunteered Saturday morning in Evanston and Winnetka for Associated Student Government’s inaugural Environmental Day of Service.

The event was organized by ASG’s sustainability committee, in collaboration with other NU groups, including Students for Ecological and Environmental Development and Eco-Reps. ASG also reached out to fraternities, sororities and residential colleges on campus, said Medill sophomore Christina Cilento, ASG vice president for sustainability.

Volunteering at the Environmental Day of Service was one way for residential colleges and Greek houses to gain points for the sustainability competition Green Cup, which ended Sunday.

“This event is an easy way to show people that we can help the environment without doing something extreme,” Cilento said.

Students could participate in a variety of activities, including cleaning up litter on campus, going to the Evanston Ecology Center and applying mulch on the lakefront. Volunteers also went to a prairie site in Winnetka, the Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse or traveled to Endless Greens or The Talking Farm, two local organic farms.

Weinberg freshman Jessica Marquez volunteered at the Winnetka prairie site, where she helped remove invasive species. Volunteers at the prairie location cut buckwheat and burned it in a bonfire, Marquez said.

“This event was held in order to spread environmental awareness and actually help the environment rather than just speak about it,” Marquez said.

Weinberg freshman Stephanie Marin volunteered at the Evanston Ecology Center.

“The event provides students with an outlet to give back to the community,” Marin said, “and it is pertinent to the Green Cup going on right now.”

Marin said her group of volunteers helped clean up a trail after the Zombie Scramble which occurred earlier this month.

“It’s not strenuous,” Marin said, “and you get to bond and meet new people while giving back to the environment.”

The sustainability committee received funding for this event from the Northwestern Sustainability Fund. ASG hopes to make the Environmental Day of Service an annual event, Cilento said.

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