Earth Day is this weekend, and in honor of the nationwide nature celebration, UConn’s Office of Environmental Policy, Dining Services and Eco Husky banded together to host the eleventh annual Earth Day Spring Fling.
Spring Fling was a culmination of UConn’s semester-long focus on the environment through the metanoia. Caroline Anastasia, a UConn Office of Environmental Policy intern, stated that this year’s Spring Fling drew positive attention to this semester’s environmental theme. “Maybe a lot of people don’t even realize that this semester is environmental-themed… so this is a great event about awareness, sustainability and how many people are focused on sustainability.”
Students had a chance to interact with vendors that promote sustainability, awareness or social action. Many of these vendors were giving out freebies, like shirts, buttons and small plants. The event also gave attendees a chance to enjoy a free sustainable lunch and cake.
Students were given a selection of steak and ale pie, ground meat tamale pie, vegetable pot pie, fruited bread pudding and Dairy Bar ice cream. All of the food available would have otherwise been thrown out but instead was re utilized instead of wasted. In order to help themselves to the free food, attendees had to visit three vendors and have them stamp their “passport.” Some of the vendors included were Joshua’s Land Trust, UConn Food Recovery, Spring Valley Student Farm, Soaps for Days and Cloverleigh Farm.
Students also had a chance to enjoy a free slice of cake from UConn’s “Not Just Desserts” Bakery. The cake was in the shape of a tree and contained 68 ten pound sheet cakes. It took the bakers 72 hours to make and 24 hours to assemble.
Christen Bellucci, one of the interns for UConn’s Office of Environmental Policy, said that this was the first year that the Spring Fling event utilized passports. Bellucci said that the passports were created in order to ensure that a variety of vendors would receive foot traffic, ensuring that those in attendance learn the most from the event.
Bellucci believes that the passports would have a positive impact on vendors as well, “I think it’s really important for the vendors to see that the students care about their causes too, so that’s why we wanted to be sure that everyone got foot traffic this year… it’s not easy for them to spread the word and this is the perfect environment for that to happen.”
Meera Chanda, an eighth semester molecular and cell biology major, thought that UConn’s Spring Fling was successful in promoting awareness and student engagement. “I feel like we wouldn’t pay much attention to it or we wouldn’t learn more about it unless UConn did these events. Especially since Fairfield Way is so busy, so it’s kind of cool to see what everyone is doing to help the environment.”
Lauren Brown is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.