SF State’s diverse assortment of environmental organizations were on hand at Malcolm X Plaza for the second annual Green Rush, an environmental take on the typical Greek rush.
Hosted by SF State’s Environmental Resource Center, or the ERC, the Green Rush doesn’t actually involve fraternities or sororities. Instead, the event promotes SF State’s numerous on-campus environmental organizations as well as local environmental organizations throughout San Francisco.
“The Green Rush is the ERC’s effort to expose the student body to the environmental organizations, efforts and programs within San Francisco,” said Jack Steinmann, the ERC Student Director.
This semester, the ERC is focusing its efforts on its vendor sustainability and zero waste initiative projects.
The vendor sustainability project is focusing on SF State’s food sourcing policies. In 2014, the CSU Board of Trustees approved a statewide sustainable food policy affecting all CSUs. By 2020, each CSU will be required to source at least 20 percent of their food from farms and businesses that fall within Real Food Challenge guidelines.
According to Steinmann, SF State is currently well below the 20 percent goal.
The Zero Waste initiative is doing far better. Since 2009, SF State has diverted 71 percent of its waste from the landfill. Steinmann said that the ERC’s goal is to figure out how to divert the remaining 29 percent, also by 2020.
Student-run organizations such as Real Food Challenge, Less Plastic Fantastic, and ECO Students were also in attendance. According to Steinmann, 20 organizations were invited to the event.
“We’re a social justice organization that pushes for more real food on campus,” said Ariana Perez, an environmental science major and Real Food Challenge’s president. According to Perez, real food is ecologically sound, fair trade, humanely produced, and community/locally based.
Less Plastic Fantastic is a new club started by environmental studies and political science student Abigail Black. According to Black, the environmentalism movement often times focuses on too much on the negative impacts on environment. The club’s aim is to introduce ideas about how people can minimize their use of plastic products in a positive, fun and casual way.
“I’ve ran previous organizations in the past which were really focused on campus politics and it was a lot for students to keep up with, so this new organization that I’ve created is designed to be fun and easy,” said Black.
Recology San Francisco, which provides the garbage and recycling services for SF State, was at the Green Rush to educate students on the proper way to sort their trash.
“As much as possible, we want items to go into compost or we want them to go into recycling,” said Recology representative and SF State alumna Amanda Simons.
“What I ultimately hope is gained from today is that the internships, mailing lists, and volunteer sign-up sheets are filled up,” said Miriam Palma, an ERC assistant. “I hope we have a lot more of the student body connecting with the outside community within these organizations.”