Penn community challenged to go outside and play

On average, Americans spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, according to research from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In an effort to encourage the Penn community to take in a little more vitamin D-rich sunshine and a little less florescent light, the University’s Green Campus Partnership is sponsoring its second annual 30x30 Challenge, which runs through Oct. 14.

Faculty and staff who accept the Challenge are asked to spend at least 30 minutes outdoors each day for 30 consecutive days. Participants are also asked to keep a journal of what they did during their daily 30-minute trek outside, and take note of how they feel afterward.

“Aside from the benefits of being outdoors, the hope is to ground folks and put us back in touch with why we’re engaged in climate change and energy conservation activities in the first place,” says Dan Garofalo, director of environmental sustainability at Penn. “It’s to get people thinking about it and really connect with nature.”

Andrea Kreiner, sustainability consultant for the Green Campus Partnership, says the hours that participants spend outdoors are logged “on the honor system.”

The 30x30 Challenge kicked off on Sept. 18 with a walk along the Schuylkill.

Remaining organized group activities are a “Bring Your Own Lunch” event on Tuesday, Sept. 24, at noon at Shoemaker Green, a “Walk to The Woodlands” program on Wednesday, Oct. 2, at noon (meet at the “Ben on the Bench” statue on Locust Walk), and a “30-Minute Run along the Schuylkill River” on Thursday, Oct. 10, at noon (meet at Facilities and Real Estate Services, 3101 Walnut St.)

    Individuals are still welcome to join the organized activities, or to create their own outdoors activities. Kreiner says the Green Campus Partnership encourages those interested to invite their friends and coworkers to join in the Challenge.

    For more information, visit the Green Campus Partnership website.

    30x30 Challenge