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Green Summit to focus on food

Amanda Gray | Monday, February 22, 2010

Today’s third annual Green Summit will highlight the sustainable efforts made on Notre Dame’s campus, offering participants the chance to host roundtable discussion.

The event will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Monogram Room in the Joyce Center. 

“The Summit is a great opportunity to bring together undergraduates, graduate students, staff and faculty to develop a shared vision of how we can make Notre Dame a more sustainable campus,” Education and Outreach Coordinator from the Office of Sustainability Rachel Novick said.

The theme this year is the Footprint of Food, Novick said. The theme will be represented in the roundtable discussion portion of the Summit.

“This year there will be a twist,” she said. “Participants will have 15 minutes to discuss a topic at their table, then we’ll ring a bell and it will be time to switch tables and topics.”

The four topics in the rotation are food and climate, local food, sustainable seafood and food waste.

Senior Colleen Kelly, intern with the Office of Sustainability and President of GreeND, said the event has grown beyond the department level.

“With the growth and work of the Office of Sustainability and other green groups on campus, it seemed like a natural fit to remake the Summit into a more educational event,” Kelly said. “Given the great work of ND Food Services, it will be an opportunity to showcase their work and also engage the rest of the Notre Dame community,” she said.

“This event will hopefully build on the success of the past by granting students, faculty, administrators and staff an opportunity to talk about living in sustainable ways.”

Novick said she hopes participants take away that eating in a sustainable way isn’t difficult.

“One of the easiest ways people can lighten their environmental footprint is by making more conscious choices about what they eat,” Novick said. “Also, they don’t have to become a vegan or eat a purely local diet in order to eat in a more eco-friendly way.  There are lots of small steps they can take that make a big difference.”

Kelly said this year’s event shows how far Notre Dame has come in sustainability.

“The two previous green summits produced a laundry list of things for the University and the Office of Sustainability to work on or investigate,” Kelly said. “I think we have become a campus where being green is more understood and accepted.”

In addition to the Green Summit, the Office of Sustainability will host many upcoming events, Novick said. In particular, these events, like a Green Comedy Night performed by the Humor Artists, and an Environmental Mass at the Grotto will center on Earth Week, takes place April 18 to April 23.