'ReThink Your Footprint' back for third year

The “ReThink Your Footprint” campaign is back at Penn for its third year. The three-week initiative, presented by the University’s Sustainability Office, encourages conversations and actions on campus about waste minimization, green purchasing, recycling, and reuse.

The campaign provides a platform for the Penn community “to both learn about what the University is already doing, and also give them an opportunity to participate in programs, find out more, and think about how being green can apply to their own space at Penn,” says Sarah Fisher, strategic planner in the Sustainability Office.

Similar to previous years, ReThink Your Footprint features a variety of “Happenings” throughout the month of November, including events and stories that tell what Penn is doing to go green.

There will be an “E-Waste Collection Day” every Thursday during the campaign, which begins Monday, Nov. 2, and ends Friday, Nov. 20. Faculty, staff, and students can drop off old printers, computers, cell phones, and other unwanted electronics between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Levine Hall, 3330 Walnut St., and Hill Pavilion, 380 S. University Ave., on Nov. 5; Penn Nursing, 418 Curie Blvd., and the Biomedical Research Building, 421 Curie Blvd., on Nov. 12; and at Penn Law, 3501 Sansom St., on Nov. 19. Grays Ferry-based company eForce will collect, destruct, and recycle the items.

This year, the campaign will feature two lunchtime film screenings that are open to the University community—“Addicted to Plastic” and “Trash Dance”—at the ARCH, 3601 Locust Walk. The screenings will take place from noon to 1 p.m. on Nov. 4 and Nov. 11, respectively.

Also on Nov. 11, the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) will host a sustainability fair at Levine Hall from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Organized by SEAS’ Green Team, the event will showcase various tables containing information on how to make an individual’s office space more sustainable—from green purchasing to managing and implementing new, environmentally friendly printing options.

Fisher, who manages Penn’s Green Fund and also works directly on the University’s Climate Action Plan, says the Sustainability Office’s website will post a mixture of stories during the campaign period highlighting on-campus green initiatives—new and old alike.

For instance, there will be a story about faculty and staff in Penn Nursing who have transitioned to miniature trashcans and larger, personal recycling bins at each desk, to encourage less waste. There will also be a story about the new Sustainability Impact Projects taken on by student Eco-Reps at Penn, organized out of the College Houses, Greek community, and Penn Athletics.

The Sustainability Office will also be launching new resources on its website—one about how to do a successful office cleanout, and another about how to host a green event (with green vendors, for example).

“The ReThink Your Footprint campaign can also motivate people to decide that this is the month they’re going to get their office Green Office Certified,” says Fisher. “I’m happy to meet with people to get them started.”

Follow along with the campaign’s happenings on Twitter @GreenPenn.

ReThink Your Footprint