WHAT: GreenFest is a once-a-semester event hosted by the Penn Environment Group (PEG) open to all students, faculty and staff. The event highlights environmentally friendly activities and organizations on campus and in the city.

THE DETAILS: The upcoming GreenFest event will be held on College Green on April 10 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

WHAT’S IN STORE: Several Penn groups will be on hand, including FarmEcology, a student group dedicated to educating people about local food; Penn Engineers Without Borders, an organization that works locally, nationally and internationally to improve the quality of life in developing communities; and the Green Campus Partnership, the umbrella group that addresses environmental sustainability and stewardship at Penn. The University’s chapter of Recyclemania, the national college campus recycling competition, will also be in attendance to reveal the results (and Penn’s standing) from the two month-long competition.

ALSO ON HAND: Other groups will also set up shop on College Green that day, including the local non-profit company PhillyCarShare (pictured), the community greening program UC Green and the Clean Air Council.

FUN AND GAMES: According to event co-organizer and Penn Environmental Group member Abby Waldorf, GreenFest will also feature a variety of fun activities, including a tie-dye T-shirt station, a bake sale, a trivia contest and recycling bin and energy-efficient lightbulb giveaways. The group will also be distributing free food from different places on campus which would otherwise go to waste. “We’re trying to make it more of a social environment,” says Waldorf. Past events have had a playful vibe, with musicians drumming on upside-down recycling bins and a cappella singers striking up impromptu vocal performances.

GOOD TIMING: GreenFest falls during Penn Preview weekend, a time when accepted students explore campus prior to making their final decision. Hopefully, says organizer and Penn Environmental Group member Ashima Sukhdev, the festival will spark a ‘green’ interest in incoming students.

BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER: The dedicated students in PEG help to translate “green” ideas into direct and meaningful local activities. “Penn Environment Group is really about raising awareness on campus and actually taking action,” says Waldorf. In recent years, the group has helped to implement composting and energy-saving initiatives, and has also worked with dining halls to eliminate trays in an effort to conserve water. “GreenFest is a time when we can show the student body what’s going on,” she says.

MORE INFO: Check out PEG’s website at for more information about GreenFest and other campus initiatives.

Originally published on April 9, 2009