The Art of Going Green: Earth Day at Bennington College

Apr 21, 2008

There is a science and an art to going green, just ask a Bennington College student. This year, the College’s student-run Environmental Initiatives Committee will access both with workshops and activities that emphasize sustainable practices with custom creativity. In addition, Bennington along with MCLA, Southern Vermont College, and Williams College will host a lecture by environmentalist and author of Winning the Oil Endgame, Amory Lovins.

Traditionally celebrated on April 22, students have chosen to extend Earth Day festivities to encompass more than ten days throughout the later part of April. With creative workshops that instruct how to swap and remake clothing, sculpt with recycled material, build temporary shelters with found organic material, in addition to instructional activities that deal with proper composting, tree planting, and trash disposal techniques—the Environmental Initiatives Committee is eager to prove it is easy being green. All events listed are free and open to the public.

Friday, April 18, 2008: Jamming Off-the-Grid

• 11:00 pm, Jennings Mansion Garden

Inaugurating the two-week long celebration, student singer/songwriters will perform a candlelit, acoustic, outdoor concert. Snacks and juice will be served.

Saturday, April 19, 2008: Green Activities Fair

• 1:00–4:00 pm; Commons Lawn (rain location, downstairs Commons)

Students offer lessons on silk screening shirts, swapping and remaking clothing, bicycle mechanics, creating homemade herbal remedies, and building rafts out of junk. Demonstrations will provide tips on composting and recycling. In addition to the activity and workshops taking place, organic cottons and juice bar items will be available for purchase.

Sunday, April 20, 2008: “Power Shift Vermont” at Middlebury College

• 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Middlebury College

Depart from Bennington at 7:00 am. Sign-up in Office of Student Life

Power Shift Vermont (2008) will focus on providing Vermont college and high school students with the knowledge and tools they need to take action and find climate solutions. Several panels, workshops, and discussions on topic ranging from green jobs to renewable energy in Vermont will help teach students how to build a campus climate organization.

EARTH DAY; Tuesday, April 22, 2008: Hobo Filmmaker Bill Daniel Presents Who is Bozo Texino?

• 9:00 pm, Downstairs Commons

Filmmaker and photographer Bill Daniel—whose work includes the documentary Sunset Scavenger, which is an on-going project exploring images and themes of social and environmental collapse in the last decades of the petroleum era—presents Who is Bozo Texino? In it, Daniels uncovers a secret society and its underground universe of hobo and rail-worker graffiti artists. Following the screening, Daniel will respond to audience questions.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008: An Open Discussion with the Environmental Initiative Committee (EIC)

• 9:00 pm, Downstairs Commons

Join the EIC during a campus-wide conversation that will examine campus cigarette culture, student activism, and the upcoming plans for the College’s new Dialogue Center.

Friday, April 25, 2008: Tree Planting Workshop & Shelter Building Workshop

• 1:00 pm; Stage near the pond, behind Tishman Lecture Hall

Lead by Bennington’s campus gardener, Melissa Leland will offer practical tips and sage advice on how to best plant a tree. At the end of the day, Bennington will add to its 400+ trees on campus with a new tree.

• 4:00 pm; Soccer fields (behind the left portion of the Student Center)

An age-old practice, students remind participants how to go about successfully building temporary shelters in the woods with found materials.

Saturday, April 26, 2008: Community Clean-Up in North Bennington

• 2:00 pm; Meet at the moose in Lincoln Square, North Bennington

Did you know that Bennington undergraduates actually outnumber the miles of North Bennington roadway by 58 to 1? Meaning, even a little help can go a long way. Join community volunteers as they green-up and clean-up North Bennington’s roadsides.

Sunday, April 27, 2008: Morning Trash Audit

• 10:00 am, Commons lawn.

Have you ever wondered just how much the campus wastes in a day? Find out. By collecting trash and recyclables from main campus buildings, student auditors will separate garbage in order to visually express just how far, or how much further, the campus has to go in its effort to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008: Amory Lovins at Mass MoCA

• 8:00 pm; The Hunter Center at Mass MoCA

Author of Winning the Oil Endgame and CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute, Amory Lovins will inaugurate the first annual Four College Issues Forum— a series founded by Bennington College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Southern Vermont College, and Williams College "to bring significant discussion of national and global issues to the region and to their campuses."

Lovins is best known for his environmental pragmatism and was one of the developers of the Hypercar, a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle designed to get hundreds of miles to the gallon. His work focuses on transforming the hydrocarbon, automobile, real estate, electricity, water, semiconductor, and several other sectors toward advanced resource productivity.

The calendar is packed with events, check out what else is going on this term by clicking here.
Earth Day at Bennington, as covered by The Rutland Herald.