Deborah Cramer, an MIT professor and author of Smithsonian Ocean: Our Water Our World, was invited to speak at the Office of Sustainability’s Green Bag Lunch Series on last Thursday on Nov. 17. Cramer discussed corporate politics and promoted lobbying and perseverance to seek change in our sustainable efforts. She also emphasized the importance of having motivators in trying to lead a sustainable life. The talk turned into a faculty, staff and student-wide open discussion about the matter of sustainability.
With over 60 people present, nearly every seat was occupied by intent ears and sensible voices. This was only the second Green Bag Lunch Series of the year.
A Green Bag Lunch Series is to be held once every month during the academic year. Each month will consist of a particular theme or specific topic. In January, an individual action and individualism discussion will be held. In February, a lunch will be held on local foods and food systems as a part of a sustainable community. March will be about vulnerability and resilience in communities and during April is Sustainability Week. Sustainability Week will include multiple events each day and a series of high profile speakers from around the country.
The Office of Sustainability is less than a semester old and already has many driven members to readily aid and promote sustainability efforts to the College and the City of Charleston. More recently, a solar-powered monitor station was installed on the roof of the Rita Hollings Science center with plans to expand. A green roof pilot project has been introduced on the roof of Liberty dorms. Furthermore, the College’s first geo-thermal unit is being installed on one of the College Way department buildings.
The Office of Sustainability is currently keeping itself busy with several projects, many in cooperation with other associations. Some of the many include collaboration with Greek Life to develop a sustainability audit for the Greek houses along with an event packet that will provide instructions on how to make events sustainable. A bike share program is in the works with a partnership with APE. An office intern is also developing a ride share program to facilitate carpooling for commuters. They are also mapping both bike racks and recycling bins with GPS, allowing their locations to be found digitally and able to be monitored. With a partnership with Computer Science, they are also developing a smartphone application that would possess many functions specific to the College of Charleston.
This is the second to come of many Green Bag Lunch Series held by the Office of Sustainability. Each event will cater discussions about sustainability and related issues. However, the Green Bag Lunch Series are not intended to be limited to just discussion. According to Adrian Barry, an intern at the Office of Sustainability, these discussions will lend themselves to even more. He said, “[If we] hold a Green Bag about an important topic and then not just leave it there but have those same people pursue the issue together and author something substantive and tangible about that issue, we think we can make these lunch discussions a powerful force for positive change.”