Office of Sustainability celebrates on-campus efforts

Bruno Beidacki

The Office of Sustainability, along with related student organizations, promoted programs regarding sustainability and environmental issues Tuesday morning in the Student Center.

The Biology Club and the Environmental Society were present at the event, aiming to increase membership and promote upcoming events, as well as support the idea of sustainability. The event focused primarily on the celebration of everything related to sustainability that Kent State has done this year, according to Outreach / Recycling Coordinator Leah Graham.

“It is mainly an opportunity to thank all of the students, staff and community members for the effort they have made to help our campus be a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly school,” Graham said. “We are also promoting some of our new programs and are trying to reinforce that college is the perfect time for students to step out of their comfort zones and get involved in helping society.” 

During the event, the Office of Sustainability raffled several items, including a free annual FlashFleet membership. Free coffee was also provided, courtesy of downtown Kent-based Bent Tree Coffee.

Do It in the Dark, one of the programs mentioned by Graham, is an initiative organized by the partnership between Kent State and Brewer-Garrett, the company behind most efforts regarding renewable resources on campus.

“Do It in the Dark is essential not only because it saves money, but also because it helps show the students how easy it is to save energy,” Brewer-Garrett representative Erica Larson said.

The program is an annual competition between residence halls to see which can reduce the most of its energy consumption during a two-week time period. In 2014, McDowell Hall won $200 for the hall council by reducing its consumption by over 13 percent. 

“Most students are not aware that we even exist. Being part of this celebration is a chance to show who we are and promote our beliefs,” said Kristen Schmidt, president of the Environmental Society and a graduate student majoring in English. “We organize clean-ups, bring speakers and host service events, all focused on helping the environment.”

Marilyn Werner, a junior zoology major and day leader of the Biology Club, agreed with Schmidt and commented on why raising awareness of such issues is so important.

“Students have to understand that their actions have direct consequences to the environment. The bottle cap you throw on the floor can end up inside a groundhog’s mouth,” Werner said. “That is one of the reasons I am such a big activist for reusable water bottles and think all students should use them too.”

More information about the Office of Sustainability and its programs and events can be found on its website:

Contact Bruno Beidacki at [email protected].