On an abnormally hot September day we lugged our Greenovate materials to Boston University’s Sustainability Fair. Both the Greenovate Program Manager Jessica Feldish and I are new to the program, and while we were eager to participate in the festival and discuss Greenovate, we were nervous. This was our first time talking about Greenovate to people who didn’t already understand it, and we weren’t sure how it might go. As we began to set up, people were already anxiously perusing the different materials and tables trying to find just what they were looking for, information and opportunities.
I was pleasantly surprised by how many people stopped to chat with us despite the heat. The most common questions seemed to be “What is Greenovate?” and “How can I help?”. The students, staff, and passersby were interested in the subject matter and were excited about finding ways to live more sustainably and reduce their carbon footprint. They wanted to volunteer and engage with us. They were also pleasantly surprised to find that the City of Boston is doing its part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as outlined in the Greenovate Boston Climate Action Plan.
Our carbon challenge board turned out to not be such a challenge for some people, but served as a great conversation starter. Students and staff alike who we spoke with laughed as they looked over the board saying “I already do all of these!” Other people were excited to start reducing their carbon footprint through such easy avenues. Items such as taking public transit seemed almost effortless in the city, while skipping trash day seemed to be a more daunting task to some people. We encouraged those we spoke with to brainstorm other carbon challenges for themselves, and to follow us on social media to see what other tips we have to offer in the coming months.
After the positive response we got from the BU Sustainability festival we are eager to connect with more people in the vibrant higher education community. Do you have any ideas for what we can do to better engage with the student population of Boston? Any ideas for carbon challenges you would like to see? Post in the comments or send us an email, we’d love for you to share your ideas with us!