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Celebrating green events

Ask the GreenMan | Monday, December 2, 2013

Fellow Tree Huggers,
As the semester winds down and campus starts to focus on exams and the excitement of the Christmas season, I would like to change my focus a bit. I write a lot of articles in this column encouraging you all to change your habits, to live green and to wear ugly sweaters. Don’t get me wrong – I like bossing you all around and all, but I think you deserve a break! During this stressful and busy time, I would like to thank you for listening and making an effort during this semester. At this point in the Dorm Energy Championship, we have saved almost 125,000 kilowatt hours. This energy could power 11 households for a whole year and is no small achievement! Please keep it up and remember, it’s for the red pandas (look them up, and if you’re not motivated, you don’t have a soul).
I would also like to applaud the increasing number of green-certified events taking place on campus. These green events are certified through the Office of Sustainability and include environmentally conscious menus, waste disposal and materials. The checklist process is easy, and many campus organizations are coming up with creative ways to go green with their events. The green framework even inspired a few new events around campus. This past semester, Keough Hall certified a pig roast and two pancake dinners with Welsh Family Hall. Consequently, even though they were able to knock my dorm out of the interhall football tournament, I owe the Kangaroos a big shout-out for certifying more green events than any other dorm this semester. Ryan Hall was hot on Keough’s tail, certifying both a Premier League watch with Duncan and a new, green Thanksgiving dinner. Notre Dame’s engineering department certified its Engineers Without Borders talk, showing that the academic departments are getting creative, as well. All in all, 15 events achieved Green Certification this semester, and while I don’t have the space to highlight every event, I would like to thank everyone involved. Green Events demonstrate that responsible living can be exciting and engaging.
Speaking of fun, my favorite event was Lights Out Volleyball, hosted by Pasquerilla East and Pasquerilla West. Imagine playing volleyball with a glow-in-the dark ball. … Yeah, you feel left out. Now, I know I said I wouldn’t preach, but I lied. Traditions are commonplace at Notre Dame, and successful events can become a treasured tradition in a few short years. Events like Lights Out Volleyball and green Thanksgiving dinner are exciting because they have a shot at becoming campus traditions like the Fischer Regatta or the Keenan Revue. Imagine a campus bike race for transportation awareness or a trip to the Lake Michigan dunes for a nature walk, followed by a day on the beach. New green events can help us incorporate green living into our daily lives. So go out there, get creative and start a sustainable legacy.

Christian Nofziger can be reached at cnofzige@nd.edu
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not
necessarily those of The Observer.