Orange and black are the typical Halloween colors, but this year Castleton is throwing a little green into the mix.During the Rutland Halloween parade, Castleton students, staff, and faculty will be part of the energy efficient light bulb float entitled “Sustaining our community,” which is being built by Area Coordinator Chris Lee. The goal of the float is to promote the effort that Castleton is putting into becoming more energy efficient.
“It’s a great way to show and promote a healthy earth to younger kids who are watching the parade,” said Heath Haskell, the college’s cheerleading coach.
The cheerleaders, the hockey team, and other clubs and teams at Castleton will participate in this event.
Before Halloween arrives, students will have an opportunity to learn, get involved, and discuss sustainability with fellow students, community members and Castleton faculty and staff.
On Oct. 25, various clubs, including the outdoor club and sustainability club, will set up displays in the campus multi-purpose room to detail how they are helping Castleton’s sustainability efforts. In the campus center, information about sustainability and what it means to Castleton will also be available.
“Our hope is that it will ignite more enthusiasm in issues and lead to more conversation on campus about what this Castleton community should do,” said Director of Budgeting John Crystal.
A board will be present for students to write their definition of sustainability and what they want to see Castleton doing to continue the energy efficiency efforts already underway.
“The issue is that you don’t use up or misuse recourses, thus leaving the next generation to clean up or with not enough resources to liver comfortably,” Dean of Students Greg Stone said.
Professor Paul Derby’s Anthropology and Environment class will exchange student’s light bulbs with energy efficient fluorescent bulbs to raise awareness about the simple ways to make the community more sustainable.
This is the fourth year that Sustainability Day, a national college awareness day, will be celebrated, but it is the first year that Castleton will participate.
Castleton President Dave Wolk asked that faculty to bring up sustainability in the classrooms. One thing to be discussed is whether students want to join the Talloires Declaration, which is a nationwide petition to get colleges and universities to be aware of environmental issues and to curb pollution and the depletion of natural resources.
Sustainability Day is aimed at getting more students involved in Castleton’s efforts and to have their say on what Castleton decides to do to become more sustainable.
“I’d love to see students take a leadership role, that means students getting together and asking to become sustainable, to use alternative energy,” Derby said.
Some students, however, are already taking action by either starting clubs or just making efforts on their own.
When Katelyn Singer visited her friend’s suite, she noticed that they did not recycle. Singer told her friend’s suitemates that if they threw their recyclables into the small trash can she would recycle for them.
“It makes me mad,” Singer said. “It’s so easy recycle.”
Castleton’s recycling program is underway, but officials leading the sustainability charge say there is more to sustaining the community.
“We’ve begun the process, but it’s a long and complex process to really be sustainable and to take less from nature than we are giving back,” Derby said.