Earthlust Holds Rally for Windpower

Shawn Doherty '12

Earthlust Holds Rally for Windpower

by Shawn Doherty '12
10/17/2008

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Earthlust members prepare for rally

Members of Earthlust prepare for a windpower  rally by reusing waste paper to create pinwheels.
Photo by Anne Hu '11

Earthlust, Swarthmore's oldest environmental activism group, has run many successful campaigns over the years. They helped to start the campus' recycling program in the early 1990s, and have long been involved in conservation efforts in Crum Woods. Members of Earthlust have been quite successful with direct contact initiatives, such as scraping plates at Sharples Dining Hall to raise awareness about wasted food, and running a "Storm the Dorms" campaign, in which members went from room to room in their dorms talking with people about how much electricity they were using and ways to use less in the future. Last year, the group received the 2007 Green Power: Turn It On Award from Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future.

Currently, the group's main focus is on making Swarthmore 100 percent wind powered. A past Earthlust campaign successfully resulted in a commitment that 40 percent of the College's electricity would be generated by wind energy, and the group is now looking to raise the bar. Several peer institutions are now powered entirely by wind energy and Earthlust wants Swarthmore to meet this new standard. "Haverford runs on 100 percent wind energy, and we want it too," says long-time Earthlust member Nicholas Buttino '09.

Under the leadership of Jacob Socolar '11, Blaine O'Neill '11, and Camille Rogine '11, Earthlust is working toward this goal. They recently organized a rally on campus to gain support for their 100 percent wind power initiative.

Earthlust meets Monday nights at 9 p.m. in Kohlberg 115. At a recent meeting, O'Neill showed members the group's new logo, a representative from Power Vote came to hand out pledges to vote for clean energy, and then the group got down to business. After a brief recap of past efforts towards their wind energy goal, the members broke up into small groups to plan different pieces of their campaign to show the administration the level of student interest in wind energy. They discussed a research group to keep all members informed on the issue. Earthlust is determined to share the importance of clean energy with the Swarthmore student population.

Read more about environmental responsibility at Swarthmore on the College's sustainability site.