Greening Lafayette

greening-lafayetteLafayette has a new plan to be more neighborly with nature, but it doesn’t involve engineering or scientists peering at DNA strands through microscopes.

It’s a tree branch wrapped in newspaper jutting from a wooden crate positioned somewhere in Farinon Student Center or elsewhere on campus. Instead of leaves, the branch sprouts announcements about upcoming events and pamphlets and stickers about how to make Lafayette more ecofriendly.

The rustic display functions as a kiosk for Greening Lafayette, an initiative to involve everyone in campus-wide environmental sustainability. It was created by students in the senior capstone course in environmental studies and science.

Events scheduled in April are designed to give students a glimpse of their impact on the environment. But that’s only the beginning.

The creators “built a module that students in the first-year commons will begin in April, but one that will carry through as they move through their college careers,” says Benjamin Cohen, assistant professor of engineering studies.

The sustainability module seeks to add to the Connected Communities program by “cultivating a sustainability ethos on campus,” says Kira Lawrence, associate professor and head of geology and environmental geosciences and co-chair of the environmental science and studies programs.