Green Lunch Bag Series speakers promote peace

by Alex Hall, Staff Writer

San Diego State Associated Students’ Green Love hosts The Green Lunch Bag Series every month where speakers from on and off campus educate students, staff and faculty about environmental and sustainability issues.

Award-winning author and founder of Power of Peace Project Inc. Kit Cummings, and founder of The Bridge to the Future Foundation, Jeff Wadstrom, spoke on “Environmental Justice through the Power of Peace” on Nov. 16 in the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union Theater.

“As the elections approached and we saw what was happening on campus, we thought ‘wow this event is perfect timing,” environmental science and engineering senior Mário Newhouse said. “This is just what we needed.”

Newhouse, the chair for Green Love, said this year the series has been successful with more students attending each event. He estimated over 250 students attended this event.

Newhouse said several students get extra credit for attending Green Love events and sometimes students leave halfway through to get to a class but he said it was interesting to see a lot of people stay the entire time because the event was “electrifying.” 

“We wanted to change things up and do it a little differently this month,” said sustainability junior and Green Love Commissioner Shelah Ott. “We also wanted to bring a sense of hope and a focus on social justice back into the issue because it’s so inseparable from sustainability.”

Sustainability and Environmental Science junior Chris Goering said he originally planned on staying until 1 p.m. because he had class, but he could not leave. He said he felt so empowered that he needed to stay and enjoy it.

“I truly think that students got a renewed sense of hope today,” Ott said. “Not only to combat environmental problems that we’re facing today, but to really find the strength within themselves to make a difference and use the sentiment from the presentation to help them create a change on campus.”

Journalism and public relations junior and Green Love Secretary Shannon Sneade said what stuck out to her was when Cummings said it wasn’t science that drew them in, but the people telling the narratives. 

“Instead of reading about what these people are doing to change their communities or to change the world, we get to hear the passion behind their voices,” said Green Love Representative and sustainability junior Alessandra Casey said. “I think the Green Lunch Bag Series does a really good job of spreading knowledge and passion throughout the student body in a way that you can’t get in a classroom.”

Not only does Green Love host the Green Lunch Bag Series, but the commission also hosts some events for GreenFest, a year long initiative celebrating sustainability, diversity, and SDSU pride.

Currently, Green Love is working to increase on-campus bike safety, create sustainable campus practices and advocate for inclusivity and equal representation in the transition to a sustainable future.

The group recently formed a relationship with the Sierra Club in order to work on transitioning SDSU’s district to operate on 100 percent renewable energy by 2035, as outlined in the City’s Climate Action Plan.

“Green Love does a really good job at enabling the students to get what they want done and to create a community where people feel like there are others that want to do the same things as them,” Casey said. “It’s all about spreading the knowledge but also doing it in a way that enables you to change something.”