Jen Abraham-White and the newly dubbed “Trash Talkers” of Sustainable Lamoni have been hard at work this year, juggling multiple projects around campus, many of which are to fall this weekend at Homecoming! For those who don’t know, Sustainable Lamoni is a student-lead, community impact club, whose primary focus is on awareness and education. They have led to the success of some of Graceland’s greatest environmental attractions such as the Hoop House (by the bike trail) and the Rain Garden (behind Resch). They also have done mini projects within the community to encourage sustainable action from students such as biking and shopping with reusable bags. Their contributions can be recognized in almost every part of our university.
For those who are interested, there is a rundown of events for the Sustainability Group this weekend, and a chance for all, students and alumni alike, to investigate and explore this aspect of the Graceland community. There is an Open House at the Hoop House on Saturday, from 1-5pm, where an exciting new project will see its first phase implemented, as dirt is laid in preparation for a concrete slab where Graceland’s very own In-Vessel Composter is anticipated to go. The In-Vessel Composter is 18 feet long and 5 feet in diameter. Food scraps from around campus along with other compostable materials will be placed in the composter, where it will be processed and allowed to break down. The end material can then be used around campus, in the Rain Garden, the Hoop House, and even bagged and sold locally.
Club member Kate Ytell explains the importance of this project the best, “Every relationship has a component of give and take, and in our relationship with the environment it is easy to take more than we give when we cannot see the effects. Through initiatives like the campus garden, students can directly experience the process of growing vegetables from seed, to seeing these vegetables as food in the commons, and then returning nutrients to the ground in the form of compostable waste to fertilize new seeds. This makes the interaction with the environment and the concept of sustainability more accessible to students.”
Ytell and fellow members will also have a stand set up this weekend where they will be fundraising for a new bike shelter on campus. They will be selling herbs and flowers that they’ve potted up in mugs and jars, perfect for a kitchen window sill or even a dorm desk. Be sure to look for them around campus! Lastly, visitors to Lamoni are encouraged to check on the Rain Garden behind Resch, where a new sign will be put up just in time for the weekend’s festivities. This is a great opportunity to support this club and see what they’ve been up to. Sustainable Lamoni will continue to serve the community with a variety of projects this coming year, and in the words of Ytell, they hope to “inspire the pursuit of a lifestyle in which we can give just as much to the environment as we take.”