For the fifth year in a row, Ohio State’s Time for Change Week kicked off its weeklong series of events Monday with the Sustainability Fair.
More than 40 organizations held booths inside the Ohio Union to advertise their environmental work both on campus and in the Columbus area. The featured organizations included students, local companies and nonprofits.
“Overall, the event is aimed to bring in all different kinds of students,” Dominique Hadad, director of sustainability for Undergraduate Student Government and a third-year in industrial and systems engineering, said.
Students signed in outside the fair and received a “passport” as an incentive to visit as many tables as possible. Students who talked to 12 or more tables were eligible to take home prizes such as hammocks, inflatable couches and Hydroflasks.
Smaller prizes such as dryer balls, reusable bags and to-go containers were awarded for students who visited five to eight tables.
Ansley Watkins, a second-year in natural resource management, and Karly Britt, a first-year in Spanish, helped through USG to work the prize table and encourage students to go to as many tables as possible.
“I think it’s good exposure,” Watkins said. “People kind of find a niche through it that they really like.”
Bennett Heyn, a first-year in management information systems, was at the fair with his cellphone recycling campaign booth, displaying the phones he has collected so far to recycle and donate to the Cincinnati Zoo.
“I’m really excited to be here and help the environment and the gorillas,” Heyn said. “I know we can make an impact.”
Other tables included Habitat for Humanity, USG, ENGIE — the company that manages the university’s energy — and the Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Gardens. Volunteers at each table explained the work they do to help raise environmental awareness on and off campus.
Erica Szeyller, assistant course coordinator of the Center for Life Sciences Education at Ohio State, represented the Columbus Audubon at her booth, a local chapter interested in conservation and birds in the area.
“I think this is huge for helping students understand things they can do themselves to improve sustainability,” Szeyller said.