The fourth annual BREW week is full swing and students are learning how to be sustainable.
But not just environmentally.
BREW week is put on by Campus Service Commission and allows students to be responsibly engaged in the world in various ways.
Moriah Nelson, CSC Commissioner, says they got the idea for BREW week at the Impact Conference that CSC staff can attend during Spring break.
She said that sustainability is not a new concept to campus though.
“Sustainability has become a buzzword,” Nelson said.
She said that the week is about more than just environmental sustainability.
“We want to have a broader view of sustainability,” Nelson said. “There are three different facets: a social component, an economic component and an environmental component.”
She says this years BREW week is a little different.
In the past, each day of BREW week has taken on its own social issue, but this is the first time that the week has had a theme that spans the whole week.
Events throughout the week are going to try to highlight those three components.
Monday began the week with an meeting at the ^Tea House. Students were able to discuss social sustainability at this discussion-based event.
Later that evening, Jessica Pettit spoke on campus to share her story of living sustainably. The event was called “Living Well: Sustainability for the Non-Environmentalists.”
According to Nelson, about 30 people attended the event. Nelson said that Pettit spoke of starting small with practical things and doing less, with less.
Tuesday featured a local foods sampling. Local breads, meats and cheeses were available for students to try.
Nelson said it shows students they can get really good food locally.
Later in the evening, there was a panel on sustainable business practices.
Bridget Heacock, program director for Madison Elementary Tutors, and Jill Whipple, program director for Nokomis, put together that event.
The panel featured fourthree business people from diverse backgrounds. Ty Hegland from Project Hero, Mark Boen from Bluebird Gardens, and Mike Allmendinger from the Kilbourne Group and Hanna Hartman, a professor from Concordia, were all be on the panel.
The projects are all involved in the community in different ways.
Project Hero recycles medical supplies and redistributes them. Bluebird Gardens uses Community Supported Agriculture, CSA, to grow vegetables. Members sign up to buy a share of a farm and they receive the vegetables grown on that share. The Kilbourne Group has redeveloped downtown Fargo.
“We want to encompass all different parts of business to get people to engage,” Whipple said.
Whipple said this event wasis tailored to business students.
The panelists focused on how to make a business sustainable and continue to grow. Members of the audience were able to ask the panelists about their experiences with developing their own careers.
The panelists emphasized the importance of technology in growth and that without it there would be no growth or sustainability. Mark Boen emphasized finding a niche that a person is passionate about.
Wednesday, an Eco-Expo allowed students to be able to get involved by checking out different organizations on campus that are involved in sustainability.
Wednesday night, Eco Reps will be hosting Conversations That Count in Jones A/B. Students will be able to discuss their place in sustainability and how they make an impact.
Thursday there will be a screening of “No Impact Man.” The documentary follows a man and his family as they try to live one year without making an impact on the environment while living in New York City.
Friday, students from Eco Reps will be showing students how to make soap, cleaners and air fresheners as DIY projects. Recipe cards will be available if students can’t stay to complete the projects.
Throughout the week, students will be able to give donations to Heifer International. Heifer International is an organization that helps people in poverty by teaching them to care for livestock.
Nelson says their goal is to be able to buy a cow, which costs $500.
To make the event a little more fun, every time a student donates to the organization, they can vote for a name they would like for the cow. Such names include Cowculator and Kernel Cow.
“You have to be creative [with fund raising] to draw people,” Nelson said.
Sustainability has become very popular on campus in the last year and for some, it’s become overdone.
“It’s a word that gets thrown out a lot,” Kari Taylor, a senior, said.
Nelson hopes that people with approach BREW week with an open mind.
“If they took the time to reflect on what it was, then it wouldn’t be as bad,” Nelson said.
Nelson said that all facets of sustainability are very important to our campus right now.
“We want to shed light on each of them and give them each valid reasoning.”
Mykayla is a senior from Avon, Minnesota. She is a multi-media journalism major. When she isn’t working as a Student Manager in Anderson Commons, she is surfing the internet, drinking coffee, socializing with friends and going to concerts. Her favorite bands are The Wonder Years, Breathe Carolina, A Day to Remember and Man Overboard.