Herbs, Leo, Fashion Shows and more: Earth Month fun continues!

Earth Month Logo 2017

This month has been jam packed with environmentally themed events to help celebrate Earth Month! Week one started off with a terrarium workshop that brought in almost 70 people! This was shortly followed by a non-traditional recycling drive that helped raise awareness of the many different types of items that  Knox recycles in addition to the regular recycling stream, as well as the locations for non-traditional recycling across campus. If you want more information on non-traditional recycling at Knox, check out last week’s blog post.

Week two was packed with even more fun events! In case you missed any of the action, here’s a recap of the recent Earth Month Events over the last ten days:

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All you need to know about Knox Recycling!

 

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It’s hard to believe there was ever a time at Knox when recycling wasn’t a common practice. On campus today, it is a rare occurrence to see a landfill bin that isn’t accompanied by a recycling receptacle at its side.  It wasn’t until the 90s however that recycling began at Knox, and it was the result of student persistence that it was instituted at all. Early Knox environmental clubs like KARES (Knox Advocates for Recycling and Environmental Sustainability) were instrumental in beginning the recycling program, and at the time they were the ones in charge of maintaining it. Now Knox has folded the recycling program in with the everyday maintenance of campus, and thanks to encouragement by students, the assistance of the Facilities Services Office, and the outreach done by the Office of Sustainability, recycling at Knox has expanded to what it is today. Here is everything you need to know about all the recycling options available to you at Knox!

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Knox Farm News

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Thanks to the hard work of Sofia Tagkaloglou, Coral Weinstock (the Knox Farm Crew), and the help of many volunteers, 2016 proved a great year for the Knox Farm.  Altogether the farm produced more than 2,400 pounds of fresh produce! The change of the seasons brings a brand new growing season for the Knox Farm.  There are quite a few updates from the high tunnels, here’s the latest from the farm:

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Eco Friendly Spring Cleaning

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Spring brings many new arrivals with its appearance, the first sprouts of daffodils, buds on the trees, birds migrating back home, as well as the most obvious and welcome arrival- warm weather. With all the new it makes one feel an overwhelming need to get rid of the old! There’s no time like the beginning of spring to make you realize how much random stuff you’ve been accumulating in your den all winter long. Spring break is the perfect time to open up those closets and cupboards and have a good old fashioned de-clutter day. Here’s some ideas about how to best go about your spring cleaning in the most eco-friendly way!

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Eco-Friendly Office Supplies

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Here’s an example of some of the free goodies you might be able to find in the Office Supply Share! (Image courtesy of The Office of Sustainability)

With finals only a week away, you may be considering going out and buying some new office supplies to start studying. Pencils and post-its and note cards, oh my, there’s quite a long list when it comes to office supply needs! Unfortunately, many brands of office supplies bought from the store are not sustainably sourced, and some are made to be one-time uses to be used and thrown away. When it comes to sustainability advice however, we’re here to help! Here’s a list of things to look for when shopping for all your office supply needs:

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How to Make the Most of Your Spring Break

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Spring break is just around the corner which for some means a week long party. For others this might mean a week of relaxation after a chaotic term, yet many might foresee a week of boredom. If you’re unsure of the best way to get the most out of your spring break, don’t despair. There are a quite a few worthwhile, rewarding, and more sustainable options to spend your week of freedom. Here are a few alternative spring break ideas to make the most of your vacation!

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Weekend Recap: Bioneers 2017

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On February 10th at 6:30pm, a very empowering and event packed weekend began – the 2017 Prairie Fire Bioneers Conference. While the term “Bioneers” may sound intriguing by itself, the name alone doesn’t explain what this conference truly encompasses. The Prairie Fire Bioneers Conference takes place once a year and is open to not just the campus, but anyone in the community. A large portion of the conference involves rebroadcasting nationally recognized plenary speakers from the national Bioneers conference on a large theater screen in CFA’s Kresge Recital Hall. These plenary speakers are social and scientific innovators who have practical and visionary solutions for the world’s most pressing environmental and social challenges. In addition to showcasing these renowned speakers, Knox invites local presenters to discuss how these national issues relate to regional knowledge. This year, these topics ranged from bioremedial herbs in your backyard to panel discussions on renewable energy democracy. The conference had educational opportunities throughout the weekend, not to mention multiple chances to eat delicious local foods! Here are some of the many highlights of the 6th annual Prairie Fire Bioneers Conference.

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How to Have an Eco-friendly Valentine’s Day

 

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Just around the corner is a holiday both loved and hated, Valentine’s Day.  What is now seen to many as another “Hallmark Holiday” which entails the buying of bouquets, chocolates, and giant teddy bears was once something quite different.  The origins of Valentine’s Day are rather interesting, “Saint Valentine” himself is quite the mysterious fellow. The most popular story says that he was a martyred priest who performed secret marriages for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. As the story goes, he was imprisoned and fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. Supposedly he wrote her a letter, before his execution, in which he signed “Your Valentine”.  Other stories are not as romantic. The pagan folklore of the holiday talk about a yearly festival which started with the sacrifice of a goat and a dog. The hides of which were then dipped in blood and used to slap women to “bring fertility”. Most folklore, however, depicts Valentine’s Day as a time to share tokens of affection with friends and loved ones, typically heartfelt handwritten notes. Valentine’s Day has changed (like many holidays) into a holiday where people are expected to buy material gifts, but it doesn’t have to be! If we support the older traditions, the ones that don’t involve sacrificing goats and dogs, we can celebrate Valentine’s Day with our loved ones while also giving a little love back to the planet with these low impact (and low cost!) alternatives:

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Sustainable Clubs on Campus

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Image courtesy of google images. 

When it comes to sustainability initiatives and opportunities on campus, the Prairie Fire community is not too shabby! We have an entire month dedicated to celebrating the Earth, the Knox Farm gives ample opportunities for students to help things grow, we have two LEED certified buildings, a bike share program, a solid investment in renewable energy, an entire shop dedicated to keeping things out of the landfill, and the list could go on! Sustainability goes further than this however, Knox has many sustainable clubs that are worth checking out too!

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