Written By: Devin Perry ’20

On September 30th, the Campuses for Environmental Stewardship held an ‘Environmental Hackathon’ at the University of New England. The purpose of this event was to bring to light the issues the environment faces today. Both the students and the faculty voiced their views on these issues. Additionally, the students had a chance to discuss environmental issues on their campus and come up with a solution to that issue. Once a solution was developed, the students spoke about their plan in an attempt to attain a $500 mini-grant to kick start their project. This grant was the purpose of the ‘Hackathon’ aspect of the event.

I attended the event with three faculty members and a fellow student. Along with being nice individuals, they were all very motivated to learn more about sustainability efforts being made by other campuses and their students. I enjoyed being able to connect with new people about a topic I am very invested in and care a lot about.

My advisor told me about the event and recommended I go to it. I was honored to go, as I am an environmental science major and it would inform me on the issues that I could possibly face down the road. Additionally, I knew I would be able to gain knowledge on how to better face environmental issues, and bring that information back to Castleton.

I learned a lot from going to the ‘Environmental Hackathon’. Before the event, I did not realize the motivation of some people, to make a difference in the environment. The participation of the other students blew me away. Lastly, from trying to think of an environmental issue on Castleton’s campus, I realized Castleton does very well with being environmentally conscious and campuses struggling with environmental issues should look at Castleton as a model. We are not perfect, but we are far ahead many of the other schools represented at the conference.

The event opened my eyes to many things and made me realize making a difference isn’t as difficult as it seems to be. The best way to make a difference is to get the word out. Informing others of your cause will get them on board with you to spread the word as well. I would consider going to other events like it to gain more knowledge on the idea of sustainability and stay up to date on how arising issues are being handled. I would encourage others to go to these events because, as I said, if you want to make a difference, telling others about your plan can set the plan forward with other people supporting you.