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The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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ASG Sustainability Committee’s GREENOUT festival returns, promotes sustainability

Beatrice Villaflor/The Daily Northwestern
GREENOUT also featured live music from student bands like NU Mariachi.

The Associated Student Government Sustainability Committee hosted GREENOUT on Saturday afternoon to raise awareness about environmentally sustainable practices. Attendees visited club booths on Deering Meadow that had food and activities commemorating Earth Month 2024. 

Weinberg sophomore and ASG Sustainability Committee co-chair Melanie Tapia said the group puts on the festival to “showcase the various intersections of sustainability,” which extends beyond recycling and composting. 

“There’s a lot of different ways that we can implement sustainability and have conversations about environmentalism that can be really positive,” Tapia said. 

Bienen and Weinberg sophomore and Wild Roots treasurer Orly Lindner said hosting the event in a central location on Northwestern’s campus exposed students to environmental clubs and their respective initiatives. 

Organizations such as Fossil Free NU, Wild Roots, Cats Who Compost and Menstrual Equity Activists displayed posters about their projects and goals. 

SESP sophomore and ASG Sustainability Committee member Trinity Colón said about 17 clubs attended the event this year and estimated that hundreds of attendees came over the five-hour event.

“It brings a lot of awareness to the fact that it is Earth Month and that people should be a little bit more conscious in general,” Lindner said.

McCormick senior and Menstrual Equity Activists Treasurer Anushka Nair taught attendees to make beaded bracelets that tracked their menstrual cycles. 

Nair said the organization wanted to promote sustainable menstruation through the activity. 

“There are a lot of years in someone who menstruates’ life in which they’re using disposable period products,” Nair said. “The products accumulate a lot.”

Nair added that disposable products tend to have microplastics which can take around 500 years to degrade, causing them to amass in landfills or in aquatic environments if flushed down the toilet. So, Nair said, using sustainable products can help protect the environment and save consumers’ money. 

One popular booth, led by Rewear, gave students like Bienen freshman Willa Mosenson the opportunity to go thrifting. Mosenson said Saturday’s booth had a good selection with low prices. Students could drop their clothes at the booth and sell them — each item had a price and payment information pinned.

“It’s nice that people can reuse, or people can find clothes that they can reuse, for things coming up instead of going out and buying and wasting new material,” Mosenson said.

Tapia said the committee considered how to make GREENOUT as close to zero waste as possible while still making it engaging for students. She said Saturday’s event is proof these goals are not mutually exclusive. 

For example, the dining supplies used for food were all compostable, according to Tapia. Moreover, Tapia added that the committee created a waste management plan.

“It’s not zero waste, but I think it’s a good start,” Tapia said. 

Colón, who is on the education and advocacy branch of ASG Sustainability Committee, said it is important for students to remain linked within the network of sustainability clubs present at GREENOUT through interacting with organizations outside of the event. 

“We do this because we love the Earth and we love the land that we are on and nature around us,” Colón said. 

William Tong contributed reporting.

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