The Earthkeepers club sponsored Sustainable Lifestyle Week from Oct. 25-30. The week’s activities centered around the arrival of fall, celebrating pumpkin spice, apples, and the harvest. The Earthkeeper’s first Sustainable Lifestyle Week organized a variety of events hoping to bring an awareness to a different side of sustainability that is not always brought to the attention of students.
On Wednesday, Oct. 25, the group sponsored a trip to Back Home on the Farm pumpkin patch, where those attending had the opportunity to pick pumpkins that could be carved the following day in another group sponsored event. Saturday, Oct. 28 consisted of an afternoon of making apple goods followed by a trip to former EMU Sustainability Coordinator, Jonathan Lantz-Trissel’s house. The group toured his home, seeing what modifications he had made to make it more environmentally friendly. more environmental friendly living arrangement. The house’s adjustments consisted of things such as solar panels, railings made from old EMU bunkbeds, as well as a countertop made of an old blackboard. On Monday, a trip was led to visit and work on a developing forest farm at Vine and Fig, an intentional community in Harrisonburg. The work consisted of clearing dead trees near Blacks Run, a stream running through Harrisonburg, in order to make room for more edible landscaping that will benefit the people, the river, and the surrounding environment.
This was EMU’s first Sustainable Lifestyle Week, which replaced Food and Farm Week, a past event hosted by the Sustainable Food Initiative and Earthkeepers. “The main reason [for changing the event was] to try to make it more applicable and interesting to people,” said sophomore event planner Mim Beck. The goal of the week was to create a fun, enjoyable atmosphere where students would gain exposure to the fun side of sustainability.
Often at EMU, sustainability is an effort led by the university, with students participating by living in LEED certified dorms. With the Sustainable Lifestyle Week, students had a chance to witness what they can take part in to exceed and broaden horizons of the world of sustainability, outside solar panels and composting. “We wanted to engage people in sustainable practices and get them involved in nature-based things,” said Beck. The week was planned by the Earthkeepers’ leadership team: seniors Harrison Horst and Jack Hummel and sophomores Beck, Emma Yoder, and Hannah Wheeler.
Regardless of who participated and who did not, the Sustainable Lifestyle Week gave a good foundation for students to work off. Sustainability at its most effective is a lifestyle, which can stretch into food, leisure, living spaces and work. Earthkeepers’ events provide a way for students to see the full spectrum of this term at work.