Sustainability Week efforts include saving bats and cemetery bike rides

This year’s Sustainability Week encourages students to get involved with learning and action through service projects on and off Main Campus.

It’s that time of year to rethink the difference between biking and driving, between leaving the television on in your room during that 30-minute trip to Maxi’s or turning it off and reconsidering the decision to spend $1,000 on that new desktop computer when Temple has some that could be bought for $100.

This year’s Sustainability Week, run by Temple’s Office of Sustainability, has events varying from saving bats to upcycling sheet music. At least 10 student organizations are taking part.

The Office of Sustainability, located in the lower level of Mitten Hall is hosting Sustainability Week from Oct. 22 – 27. | KELSEY DUBINSKY TTN

Beginning Monday, Oct. 22, and ending Saturday, Oct. 27, Sustainability Week is taking place in various locations like the nearby Penrose Playground, Ambler Campus and Cobbs Creek in Fairmount Park.

Kathleen Grady, sustainability coordinator from the Office of Sustainability, said, “This year’s Sustainability Week is focused on two things: sustainability and action. This is what makes this year’s Sustainability Week unique. We’ve never done service projects before and we’re doing them at places like Cobbs Creek and the Penrose Playground.”

The Office of Sustainability said it’s committed to three things: advancing academic initiatives and research, creating a sustainable campus and improving outreach and engagement. Through activities during Sustainability Week, it hopes to accomplish all of the above.

This two-fold purpose is about raising awareness of general issues of sustainability as well as showcasing to students how they can get involved at the local level and participate in outreach to their own immediate community. This culture of change is encouraged to be adopted by many students who would normally feel that they alone can not create a large difference in the world.

Guest speakers and workshop leaders include Benjamin Weiss of the Susquehanna Permaculture Guild who will be giving a talk on regenerating the wild using sustainable human systems, and bat conservationists Brent Sewall and Brenda Malinics, who plan on exploring what threatens bats and how they can be helped.

Boyer College of Music and Dance is celebrating sustainability by promoting the “three R’s” of sustainability, “reduce, reuse and recycle,” doing so through an activity called “Music Swap,” which recycles lightly-used sheet music.

The Office of Sustainability is also hosting a breakfast and a lunch for students while simultaneously running a workshop on conserving energy. A workshop is also taking place at Ambler Campus where students will learn how to identify and remove invasive species.

Temple’s Computer Recycling Center is giving a behind-the-scenes tour for students to help them gain an understanding of how 80 tons of computers are recycled every year and how students can take part by buying refurbished computers instead of new devices.

In the spirit of Halloween, Sustainability Week is hosting a Halloween Costume Fun Ride that plans to take participants biking to Laurel Hill Cemetery for a free tour.

One student organization working in conjunction with Sustainability Week is Temple’s Vegan Action Network, which will be focusing on the environmental impact of animal agriculture combined with a “Meet your Meat”-style video clip. They plan on holding a table on Oct. 24.

Events such as these appear to have made quite some impact on Main Campus during recent years. Sustainability presence, said some Temple students, is strong and extremely apparent.

Students looking to score a free meal and talk about sustainability issues on Main Campus can take part in the Green Council’s Potlucks with a Purpose, a self-described innovative approach to cultivating dinner conversation that allows experts and professionals to speak in an informal way to students.

The first one of the year is Oct. 30 at Temple Contemporary at Tyler School of Art. This month’s focus is composting on campus.

Hayon Shin can be reached at

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