Eleanor Dunn ’24
On April 22, tables and tents populated Bowling Green Lawn in preparation for the 10th annual Scripps Sustainability Fair. Though it’s technically an annual event, the last fair was held in 2019 due to COVID-19. The event was open to all as a way to build community, spread information about sustainability at Scripps, and generate excitement and momentum around sustainability-oriented community groups.
Volunteers at the check-in tent explained the various raffles and free sustainable goodies available for participants. Prizes included Dr. Bronner’s lavender soap, menstrual cups, and eco-friendly food storage solutions. Participants could enter the raffles by having students at each table stamp their bingo-like cards, encouraging participants to experience all that the fair had to offer.
The Scripps Student Garden, Scripps Scrapps, Emergent Strategy Club, Nobody Fails at Scripps, Tiernan’s Green Bike Shop, Denison Library, and Scripps Facilities and Grounds all tabled at the event. Also in attendance were cross-consortium groups including the HMC Makerspace, the Pomona Farm, Pomona Eco Reps, and the Hive. Tiernan Field House provided lawn games, and Post Baccalaureate Office Staffer Messina Zurbuch offered a yoga class while her husband, Chris, gave massages. The 5Cs’ student-run radio station, KSPC 88.7, provided this bustling sustainability and wellness menagerie with a rocking soundtrack while Malott provided lunch from a local farm. Despite the cloudy day, the fair was a heartening display of community engagement, excitement, and cross-consortium collaboration that many students missed during the pandemic.
Scripps Sustainability Coordinator Lauren Ng shared her disappointment at not having the chance to try out the Green Bike Shop’s smoothie bike. She also highlighted the work that the program has been doing on campus. The Green Bike Shop had a blender powered by pedaling in front of their tent, where participants could make their own delicious smoothies in just a few minutes. They were also raffling off some of their extra bikes while promoting human-powered transportation and buying second-hand.
Catherine Sunding ’25, a Tiernan Green Bike Shop employee, was one of the students in charge of the smoothie bike. Though she had only planned to work the event for a few hours, Sunding enjoyed the festivities so much that she stayed from set-up through breakdown. “It was really fun,” said Sunding. “I got to meet a lot of new people, like prospective students and admin who I normally wouldn’t interact with. Also, a lot of people don’t know about the Green Bike Shop, so it was great to raise awareness.” For those in need of bike repair, you can find the Green Bike Shop in the Tiernan parking garage. It offers free, sustainable, and student-powered solutions to your biking needs.
Ng was pleasantly surprised to find that around 20 students volunteered for the event. She noted that this event’s success exemplified the power of the collective care we have at Scripps. It seems this goodwill extends beyond our campus community, as brands from Dr. Bronners to DivaCup and local vendors like the Cheese Cave, Claremont Yoga, and I Like Pie, donated their products.
Volunteers and donations made this event relatively low-cost, but Ng secured additional funding through the Scripps Student Investment Fund’s open application on Facebook. Though the tables and activities appeared seamless, Ng had been planning this event since January: emailing brands, working around COVID-19 restrictions, and reaching out to clubs.
Ng is currently working to promote sustainability at Scripps by expanding both academic and paid internship opportunities for students (which will be posted on Handshake, for those interested). Additionally, she will be the faculty affiliate for next year’s green living dorm community, which will contribute sustainable events and projects to the whole community.
From jam-making to learning about the Robert Redford Conservancy, the 2022 Sustainability Fair was informative, collaborative, and downright fun, shedding light on the impressive work Scripps students and coordinators have been doing all year.
Image Source: Lauren Ng