Campus News

‘Sustain-A-Bash’ brings campus environmentalists together

The "Sustain-A-Bash" took place on Gordon's lawn Sept. 28.

Image By: Noah Habenstreit

If you’re wondering why there was a giant inflatable earth on the Gordon lawn, here’s your answer: Sustain-A-Bash.

University Housing hosted its fourth annual sustainability event Thursday, bringing together student groups and academic organizations committed to protecting the earth. WSUM Student Radio provided music for the event, and attendees were able to pedal a bike to make smoothies and enter a raffle to win a “plant party,” among other activities.

Community groups and organizations, such as SustainDane and Allen Centennial Gardens, held tables alongside representatives from university departments and student groups hoping to show their commitment to sustainability.

Leah Johnson, the chair of the Associated Students of Madison’s Sustainability Committee, said the event is important because it allows like-minded people to come together in a fun atmosphere to promote a good cause.

“It’s just a chance for a bunch of environmental groups to come together and for students to just experience us,” Johnson said. “Because the cleaner we keep our planet, the more we’ll be able to use it in years to come. And I think that’s important.”

Johnson encouraged students interested in protecting the earth to join the committee she chairs, which is voluntary and open to all students.

Others, such as representatives from Allen Centennial Garden, were at the event promoting a specific cause, but also expressed the need for sustainable practices in general.

“We focus on helping students connect to the natural world … and that’s why we’re here to promote what we do,” Kaitlin McIntosh, the director of events at marketing at the garden, said. “We have to care about our world, because otherwise it’ll go to waste, and there will be nothing left.”

Representatives from UW-Madison’s Office of Sustainability were eager to talk to students about what their department is doing to make the school more environmentally conscious.

Ian Aley, the Green Fund coordinator in the office, said it’s not only important that the department express the need for sustainability, but also that it do so in a way that’s exciting and palatable for students. That, he said, is why Sustain-A-Bash is a great event.

“It’s important that this event is fun. We have bike-powered smoothie-blender things, we have a massive earth you can tape things onto … It’s not just about the nitty-gritty of things — it’s about making it enjoyable and integrating [sustainability] into your life.”

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