Green Revolution is a newly established sustainability program started by Sarah Bland, an RA from Hereford Residential College. The program focuses on raising environmental awareness among people who live in Hereford, and it currently focuses on two major issues: the distribution of reusable utensils and sustainability education.
“If you really want people to care about the environment, you have to provide ways in which they can transform their attitudes from ones of apathy to ones of appreciation,” said Bland.
Sarah Bland is a second year in the College of Arts and Sciences double majoring in computer science and environmental science. She joined the Hereford community as a first year in search of a group of people who genuinely wanted to live environmentally- friendly lifestyles. However, Hereford, at the time, did not use any practical sustainability programs.
“It’s not that we don’t care about the environment, I just don’t feel there are avenues for expressing that in tangible ways” she said.
During her second year at Hereford, Sarah became an RA and wanted to focus on making Hereford a more sustainable place to live. When she saw an email from GIFT (Green Initiatives Funding Tomorrow), she realized that she had chance to turn her ideas into reality.
GIFT grant is a funding program open to all UVA students who want to start sustainability-related projects. Sarah contacted Peter Marr, the head of the Sustainability Committee in Hereford Student Senate and discussed details her ideas for the project. Afterwards, they sent out emails inviting students living in Hereford to join their project.
In November, the team applied for the GIFT fund, and a month later, they successfully received $900 from GIFT. Over the course of three months, their team grew from 3 people to 20 people and has recently purchased reusable utensils and napkins to distribute to every Hereford residence. The utensils they plan to hand out are sold by a company called Preserve, and they are made completely from recyclable materials. So far, over 30 people have signed up for the reusable napkins, knives and plates, and the team also plans to distribute utensils to everyone moving in next fall.
Sarah is excited for the future of Green Revolution. Her team is currently planning events that will be open to the public, such as a seminar, a waste food education night and a field trip the UVA center for sustainability. Next semester, the organization hopes to continue to both educate students and distribute eco-friendly utensils.