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EcoPledge Presents Harvest Fest Event

For The Heights

Published: Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01

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Kylie Montero / Heights Staff

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Kylie Montero / Heights Staff

After some delay, EcoPledge presented the much anticipated Harvest Fest this Monday afternoon in O'Neill Plaza. The festival, which was originally scheduled for last Friday, celebrated food and agriculture as part of the Sustainable Agriculture Campaign Week.

"The goal of Harvest Fest is to reach out to the Boston College community and bring awareness to the effect food has on nutrition, social justice and the environment," said Meg Lister, EcoPledge president and A&S '12. "People don't realize that ecological issues connect to other social injustices."

Harvest Fest is part of a week-long campaign to bring awareness to ecological problems on campus and promote a more eco-friendly environment. The campaign began last Tuesday in the academic quad. EcoPledge members rallied students to sign a petition that would supply compostable cups to the dining halls. The cups currently used in the dining halls are wax-coated and non-recyclable. Compostable cups offer an environmentally-friendly alternative to the plastic cups because they are biodegradable. EcoPledge hopes to bring the compostable cups into dining halls to help create a more eco-friendly campus.

On Wednesday, EcoPledge opened its art gallery, "Around BC in 20 Meals," on the first floor of O'Neill. The exhibit displayed pictures of five BC students' typical meals, and analyzed the healthiness and environmental consequences of their food choices. The gallery, which will be open until Oct. 27, displayed a wall of cups, plates and utensils that are typically discarded in the dining halls. The mural represents 1/500 of the waste generated in Corcoran Commons per week. "The wall shows students just how much we waste on a daily basis," Lister said. "It's an important image."

After a rainy Thursday and Friday, Harvest Fest resumed Monday afternoon in O'Neill Plaza. The event kicked off at noon with pumpkin painting, trivia, and local apple taste-testing. Ecopledge collaborated with other BC clubs at the festival, including Rural Water Ventures, Real Food, and the 40-Hour Famine Group.

"Harvest Fest is an annual tradition at BC with interactive events and games," Lister said. "We want students to see how the ‘food based' choices they make affect their nutrition, social justices, and the environment."

The event continued throughout the day. Students came by to try local farm grown apples and compared their taste to apples grown in Chile, New Zealand, or Washington State. Ecopledge gave out free apple cider donuts and hosted a pie eating contest in the late afternoon. At 4:30 p.m., local band Melodeego performed selections from their latest EP, The World is You. The band played into the early evening, and their set was powered by bicycles. Students sat alongside the band, pedaling to the music, as Melodeego and Ecopledge worked to promote a more eco-friendly world.

Ecopledge has big plans for the coming year. "A lot more students want to get involved this year and we're really trying to reach out to a bigger portion of the BC community and different clubs," Lister said. Ecopledge is working to expand their SustainBC program. A faculty and student sustainability collaboration, SustainBC usually focuses on curriculum sustainability workshops and participation in Green Month.

"This year, we are working to make [SustainBC] an inclusive umbrella organization for all sustainability initiatives on campus," Lister said. "The group now includes student representatives from EcoPledge, UGBC, and Real Food, as well as representatives from teaching faculty, Facilities, Dining, BC Greener Lib, and the Office of Residential Life. With the redesign of SustainBC's organization and website, we hope to provide a resource and news source for everyone interested in sustainability at BC. We are also holding themed monthly meetings open to the BC community that focus on certain aspects of sustainability and provide a discussion forum for participants."

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