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Blue, Gold...and Green!

(Posted June 4, 2014)

Emily Harakal '14, co-president of Environmental Coalition Photography by Kelly Russo, '14

Emily Harakal, a senior at Juniata and a co-president of Environmental Coalition, speaks about some of the club's activities and goals to promote a greener future for Juniata.

Q: What does the Environmental Coalition club do?

A: The club does a mix of advocacy activities, community service and outdoor activities. This past weekend we participated in a Raystown Lake cleanup. We also try to increase recycling on campus and something that we try to promote is the use of the green clamshells on campus. They can be purchased in Muddy for $6 and because they're reusable, they reduce the consumption and waste of the plastic to go containers. We participated in Circle K's Youth Carnival earlier in April by setting up tables where kids could plant seeds and make birdfeeders. We do cleanups of campus a few times a year when we see trash piling up, especially behind Ellis, and we usually do a kayak trip every semester. Right now, we're working with the Community Service Office to promote the Terracycle program, which is in all the dorms. We collect old shoes, old shampoo bottles and other items that people would normally throw away.

Q: What was your Earth Day event?

A: We tried to do an event on the quad with the Planting Seeds club on Earth Day but we unfortunately got rained out. We ended up setting up under the Cloister Arch and some people did participate. This event was Planting Seeds' idea and we just helped out. It was unfortunate that it rained, but we just had to work with the weather.

Q: Why is the club important to you?

A: A lot of students in the club and students at Juniata in general, are very passionate about climate change, recycling and advocacy. Having this club provides a space where students can meet every week to talk about these things. Being a part of a group, you have more power to change things. It's important for people who care to be able to come together. We also do fun outdoorsy stuff too. I'm really happy because we have a lot of really great members this year. We have people who come every week and it's really fun.

Q: What is the Juniata farm?

A: The Juniata farm is on Route 26. It's about a five-minute drive from campus. There's an agro-ecology class that meets every couple weeks and we have open space to plant things, so we also have students who work there over the summer. Our big project in the winter is composting the food waste from Sodexo. That's a big deal because we get 15 buckets or more of food waste. We make it into compost to use at the farm and it also gets rid of the waste Sodexo produces. Many people don't know this, but in the garden right behind BAC, there's a compost pit where students who collect their own food waste can bring the waste to the site to be composted.

Hannah Jeffery '16 Juniata Online Journalist

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Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.