Environmental groups praised at Greenfest


Student Sustainability Association also hosted its first-ever fashion show


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At Greenfest 2013 last Friday, students dance to live music in Wynn Commons. The festival culminated a weeklong celebration of environmentalism on campus.

Photo by Imran Cronk and Imran Cronk and Imran Cronk


Contrary to Kermit the Frog’s opinion, students showed last Friday that it’s easy being green.

The Penn Environmental Group hosted its biannual Greenfest in Wynn Commons to celebrate Penn’s fourth annual Green Week.

From March 22 to March 30, the Student Sustainability Association sponsored Green Week to raise awareness of the many environmentally focused student groups on campus.

College sophomore and Co-Director of Penn Environmental Group Andrew Shannon said, “Green Week is meant to be a celebration and a way to get the names of these groups out there.”

Events last week included a birthday celebration for the one-year anniversary of PennCycle, Earth Hour, a tour of historic Philadelphia landmarks co-sponsored by PennCycle and the Kelly Writers House and a social event co-sponsored by Penn Eco-Reps and Penn Sustainability Review at The Blarney Stone.

During Friday’s festival, more than 12 different groups — from both on and off campus — educated more than 80 students about the ways they could get involved with different sustainability projects while at Penn.

Groups such as the University of Pennsylvania Habitat for Humanity, Penn Vegan Society, Penn Outdoors, Penn Transit and PennCycle were present to talk about upcoming events and spread awareness for their causes.

College junior and build coordinator for Habitat for Humanity Erica Romero said, “It’s a fun and pretty successful event where different groups on campus can show what they have to offer.”

Engineering junior and Penn Vegan Society member Laura MacKinnon added, “This event gets our name out there and helps us form valuable connections with other green groups.”

In addition, for the first time in its history, Greenfest held a fashion show.

The Greene Street Consignment Shop, which recently opened on Locust Street, agreed to have some of their recycled pieces modeled by members of Penn’s environmental groups.

West Philly Swingers, Penn Yalla and two student bands — King Sky and Andrew Ciampia — also performed at the event.

Overall, the SSAP was able to provide some additional avenues for students interested in environmentalism.

“Greenfest is always nice because there are not many opportunities to showcase the variety of sustainability groups on campus,” said College sophomore and SSAP Co-Chair Sara Allan. “This event definitely caters to this need.”

The student groups at Greenfest and the event’s coordinator, College sophomore Andie Davidson, seemed pleased with the turnout.

“I think it went pretty well overall,” she said, “and once we got all the people we wanted to be here it all came together quite nicely.”

The SSAP hopes that events like these for Green Week will increase Penn students’ involvement in these groups in the future.

This article has been revised to reflect that the Penn Environmental Group, not the Student Sustainability Association, hosted Greenfest.

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