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Friday, January 28, 2022

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Students clean campus at festival


Students stop by information booths on the first day of the Sustainability Fest at Butler Plaza.  |  Rebekah Stearns/The Daily Cougar

Students stop by information booths on the first day of the Sustainability Fest at Butler Plaza. | Rebekah Stearns/The Daily Cougar

Students turned out for everything from a coffee sampling at Cougar Woods Dining Hall to picking up trash around campus at the four-day UH Sustainability Fest that began Nov.1, hosted by the Office of Sustainability, Rotaract and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

“(The Fest) started on Thursday, we had different tables from different organizations throughout campus or beyond,” said Adam Nguyen, architecture graduate student and a marketing intern for the Office of Sustainability. “We had Metro, we had the campus bookstore, different people coming together to get students more involved.”

On Thursday night, the Office of Sustainability also hosted an open house at Moody Towers.

“We were trying to get students more inclined to recycle and give them more knowledge (about recycling),” Nguyen said.

Students walked to various areas on campus, including Butler Plaza, the University Center, and near the residence halls for Trash-Off on Saturday to collect litter. The Trash-Off was followed by a work session at the Community Garden Sunday evening.

“(Rotaract is involved with) projects such as donating to polio (relief), donating canned goods and clothes,” said Larissa Davis, the coordinator for Trash-Off Campus. “This is our very first year on UH campus and we decided to join with UH (Sustainability), and they helped us out to do the Trash-Off.”

The Fest isn’t the only thing the Office of Sustainability does. It also processes grants and publishes newsletters discussing UH goals to become greener.

“The idea is that as students walk by, they can go up to any department that has an exhibit there, or student organization, and learn a little about what that department is doing in terms of sustainability, and also get feedback,” said Leah Wolfthal, program coordinator for the Office of Sustainability.

“The feedback is also the crucial part. It’s not just to raise awareness, but also engagement and saying what they want to happen, what they think should happen, and how they want to be involved,” Wolfthal said.

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