ECOQuest encourages environmental awareness

Students learn about different environmental concepts along Fairfield Way Monday afternoon. The stations were the last part of the semester long Metanoia on the Environment. (Nick Hampton/The Daily Campus)

Earth Day may have already passed, but student groups sought to continue encouraging environmental awareness and sustainability this past Tuesday through ECOQuest. ECOQuest was hosted by ECOalition, and had support from a number of environmental groups on campus like EcoHusky, Wildlife Society and Green Building Society. ECOalition is a student run environmental group that unites members of the different environmental groups on campus.

ECOalition treasurer Katie Main said the purpose of the event was to increase student awareness of how they can be more environmentally conscious and to promote the work done by other environmental groups on campus.

“We have six stations on Fairfield Way, each of them is a different student group,” said Main “The point of this activity was to come get a card, talk to each of the different groups to get a better idea of what environmental activities and groups go on on campus and then you come back and get a prize for participating.”

Students had the opportunity to pick up ice cream and bags or t shirts by visiting the six stations participating in ECOQuest. Participants who visited all six stations got free dairy bar ice cream and an item while students who went to three only got the free ice cream. The stations included the Scouting Association, UConn Green Building Club, EcoHusky, the Soil and Water Conservation Society, PIRGs Save the Bees Campaign and a PIRG table on veganism. Many of the stations were interactive, giving participants a chance to try foods and play games.

Throughout the semester, the University of Connecticut has taken a specific focus on the environment through the environmental Metanoia. ECOQuest was the last of this semesters environmental metanoia events. ECOalition president Andrew Michalakis thought that this event and other events associated with the environmental metanoia promoted student awareness.

“The metanoia is environmental themed, and this is kind of the student run section of it, so we want people to become more environmentally aware and literate about what goes around on campus, how they can be more environmentally friendly and how they can get involved on campus,” said Michalakis.

Fourth semester English major Lauren Valledor said she thought that the stations were a great way to increase environmental awareness.  

“I think that it’s a really educational event that they put on, there was a big diversity of things about the environment,” said Valledor.

Valledor’s favorite of the six stations was PIRG’s station on veganism. Valledor liked that the table had a number of vegan treats like banana bread and brownies and interesting facts on how veganism can have a positive impact on the environment by lowering carbon dioxide emissions.

Valledor believes that events like this are important because environmental sustainability and awareness affects everyone, but not everyone knows what they can do. Valledor hoped ECOQuest would encourage more students to get involved with environmental issues.

“Usually it’s a very niche group of people that are interested in the environment, so kind of bringing it to a bigger scope on Fairfield Way, there are a lot of people passing by…it just might spark your interest for later,” said Valledor.


Lauren Brown is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at lauren.brown@uconn.edu.