In honor of Earth Month, various student organizations and Trinity’s Office of Sustainability have held a series of community events throughout April. The Green Campus club recently partnered with The Mill to host the fifth annual GreenFest, an event designed to educate its attendees on the subject of sustainability on campus. The festival, held on April 13 at The Mill, featured various bands, speakers, informational tables, apparel, and activities.

GreenFest 2024
GreenFest was held on April 13 at The Mill. Photos by Nick Caito.

“The main goal of this event is to celebrate and promote sustainability, specifically at Trinity College,” said Aurora Trani ’24, co-president of Green Campus. “We want to encourage people to take actions to be more sustainable in their daily life.”

In addition to events like this, Green Campus works to implement sustainable practices on Trinity’s campus and around Hartford. Through educating members of the community on topics such as recycling and composting, local food, and energy reduction, the club works to create a standard of conservation on campus. The club also collaborates with other student organizations, such as the Sustainable Finance Association (SFA) and Trin Divest, to advocate for environmental sustainability.

Addressing the concept of sustainability beyond environmental concerns, GreenFest also highlighted the prevalence of sustainability in other world issues. Colleen Quinn ’24, co-president of Green Campus, said, “There are a lot of intersecting aspects with environmental sustainability. If you want sustainability, you have to have environmental sustainability, social sustainability, and other aspects that go into an overarching image of sustainability.”

GreenFest 2024
Green Campus Co-Presidents Aurora Trani ’24 and Colleen Quinn ’24.

Trinity’s sustainability coordinator, Hayley Berliner, added, “We’ve been trying to push beyond environmental sustainability to include social and economic justice. All of those things are intertwined, and sustainability can be involved in every issue that you see.”

As part of Trinity’s strategic plan, Summit, the College is committed to embracing and promoting sustainability as a fundamental value. The Sustainability Action Plan is the culmination of a multi-year collaboration between students, faculty, and staff that sets the College’s strategies and priorities to further its sustainability efforts. The plan can be viewed here.

Connecticut Secretary of the State Stephanie Thomas kicked off GreenFest by speaking to the audience about voting sustainability. After a 30-year career working with non-profit organizations, Thomas said that she has prioritized protecting voting rights and strengthening education in her work as a politician. During her speech, Thomas shared information about voting in Connecticut, encouraged the audience to make their voices heard, and invited attendees to register to vote at a table set up at the festival.

“We can’t just vote and expect change to happen,” said Thomas. “We have to do things all year round, just like we do with sustainability. Election Day is just the start.”

GreenFest 2024
Connecticut Secretary of the State Stephanie Thomas speaks at GreenFest 2024.

Sharon Lewis, executive director of the Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice, also spoke at the event. This organization promotes environmental justice through community advocacy and engagement. In her speech, Lewis shared more about the initiatives the coalition is taking on to improve sustainability across the state of Connecticut.

In addition to featuring guest speakers, the event also highlighted various Trinity student groups and organizations, and offered musical performances, club tables, and activities. “I had a very positive experience at GreenFest,” said Tess Gobiel ’26. “The environment of the event stood out to me the most. Everyone tabling was enthusiastic and engaging.”

As for the future of sustainability at Trinity, the leaders of Green Campus and the Office of Sustainability hope to continue to spread awareness on these issues, educate community members, and promote an eco-friendly campus. “We worked very hard on getting compost bins in Mather [Dining Hall] and also having a compost system on Crescent Street,” said Trani. “A simple thing that every student can do is to make sure that you’re composting correctly.”

Quinn added, “We’ve also been trying to implement sustainability beyond just our operations. We want to get sustainability into more courses, no matter the department. It shouldn’t be just environmental science majors who are learning about this; it should be everyone.” For a schedule of Earth Month events on campus and beyond, click here.