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Big Red events go green

This year, Reunion goers enjoyed Fun in the Sun and a greener dining experience, thanks to the Campus Sustainability Office.

Whether it’s showing up to celebrate the return of Dead & Co., sharing pix of their feathered friends through eBird, giving to their favorite Cornell cause on Giving Day, or attending Fun in the Sun at Reunion, the Cornell community is hopping. The university hosts over 10,000 campus events each year—and that includes only those that are officially registered.

Kim Anderson, assistant director of the Campus Sustainability Office,  and her team see these events as thousands of opportunities to green Cornell’s carbon footprint. In spring 2022, Kim and her team officially launched Cornell’s Sustainable Events Checklist, with a menu of options for event planners to make their events more sustainable. These include everything from:

  • menu planning to incorporate more plant-based and locally sourced foods to reduce upstream emissions; to
  • eliminating single serve containers (such as individual water bottles or creamers) in favor of a single reusable container; to
  • offering virtual options for conferences to reduce travel-related emissions.

One of the highest impact actions event planners can take is shifting from plastic to reusable options. In June, more than 500 Reunion goers who attended the Fun in the Sun event used washable bowls and spoons—rather than disposable paper and plastic ware.

Read the full story to learn how Cornell is creating new ways of thinking and behaving at Big Red events.