From the seemingly never-ending flow of food into our dining halls to the infinite water supply in our dorm bathrooms, there are a lot of amenities on a college campus that seem expendable. We show up, not knowing where they come from or where they go after we are finished using them. It’s easy to forget that these resources have a profound impact on the natural world.
Enter The Conscious College Project, a collaborative multi-media collective founded with the goal to make sustainable habits a daily norm, starting with waste. We provide the education and tools for college students to learn about waste on their campuses, and design projects to combat it.
The idea started when Jocelyn Meyer, one of our Co-Founders, studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark for a semester. Inspired by the Scandinavian culture of sustainability and eco-friendly mindset, she came up with the idea for Just Ripe, a low waste ice-cream initiative that would take discarded bananas from the dining halls and local restaurants around campus, and transform them into vegan, non-dairy “nice-cream.” Olivia Wandres (our second Co-Founder) joined the project as Marketing Manager, with the intention to present our idea to Colby College’s annual business expo.
Then the pandemic hit.
Sent home defeated, frustrated, and understandably grieving the loss of lives, the semester, and the world as we knew it, all ideas and work halted. But little by little we realized we wanted to do something more than just make banana ice cream, that this culture of privilege and waste on our campus was something we could start talking about now. Then Ali Nislick (our third Co-Founder) was sent home from her abroad program, officially joined the team, and the three of us decided we were going to use this time to create a movement.
In addition to Just Ripe, which we hope to officially implement at Colby when it is safe to return to campus, we are currently developing an app that would allow students to purchase/thrift each other’s clothes on campus, and will soon be launching a petition to ban single-use plastic containers from our Take 4 program. We will also be holding tie-dye days at the Senior Apartments using natural dyes from avocados, tea, and other discarded food items.
How can you get involved?
Follow our Instagram, read our blogs, like and comment on our posts, and share your talents with us. This movement is for artists, musicians, podcast bingers, Netflix lovers, scientists, coders-- this collective is for everyone, in every major.
If you want to write for our blog, work with our social media team, or produce content for our website and social channels, shoot us a DM at @conscious.college or an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to have you.
We believe sustainability should be the norm, not just a trend. Let’s be curious about our campuses and conscious of our actions. Together, we can change the world, one campus at a time.