LEAF welcomes all those who want to learn, do, and be more for the environment



Image: LEAF membersIn the midst of numerous 'green' initiatives coming to pass, Fairfield University's two student environmental clubs have joined forces to become one: LEAF - Leaders for Environmental Action at Fairfield.

Both groups have the same goals, so it seemed like a natural move, according to members. "LEAF was the result of a merger between Green Campus Initiative (GCI) and the Student Environmental Association (SEA)," said Terry O'Brien, a junior who is co-director of projects for the group. "LEAF attempts to achieve its mission of increased campus sustainability through both project-based initiatives as well as awareness campaigns."

By encouraging its members to pursue grass-roots campus projects, LEAF aims to have a positive influence on the university community through engaging the student body and enacting lasting environmentally conscious changes at Fairfield. So far this year, members have worked with faculty and administrators to establish the first campus garden, which has provided tens of pounds of vegetables for area food programs while supplying the student dining hall with produce and herbs. Also on the agenda is a January trip to New Orleans, where 23 students will rebuild houses in a sustainable way. The group is also planning more recycling projects and composting coffee grounds from Jazzman's Cafe, the campus coffee bar.

"Although we are completely student run and directed, we are a university club," said Dana August, a senior who is
co-director of projects and a resident assistant in the Environmental Life Residential College, a new living and learning community for Fairfield sophomores.

LEAF sponsors movie showings; petition and letter-writing campaigns to lawmakers; campus trash audits; Earth Week celebrations; and eco-friendly awareness campaigns. Ultimately, members seek to promote awareness of local, national, and global environmental issues through education, programming, and activism.

"LEAF strives to institute lasting changes to reduce the campus's carbon footprint," said Zachary Gross, a junior who is director of recycling. "We've had an abundance of support from an enthusiastic group of new students this year, but we're always looking for new members."

In addition to students, staff and faculty are welcome to get involved. For more info, e-mail leaf.fairfield@gmail.com.

Image: LEAF members helped faculty and staff establish a new campus garden.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on December 2, 2010

Vol. 43, No. 137