GrOW’s Current Initiatives

By Gabrielle Ewall, David Pudlo, Ruby Spring

GrOW is reinvigorating itself this year. We’ve got some big ideas and projects that we’re going to push for, so we’re keeping you, the student body, informed as to what’s going on and how you can get involved. Below are updates on our current initiatives, if you have any questions, contact David Pudlo.

The Olin Secret Garden
Over the summer, a few students created the Olin Secret Garden in the middle of Parcel B! We’re experimenting, trying to learn what we can grow here in MA, and seeing what it takes to build a garden from the ground up. We’ve already had some successful harvest, basil, kale, and corn. Make sure to stop by and check it out, it’s near the trebuchet (and feel free to grab a bit of basil or kale!). In the future, we’re looking into wintering structures and a rainwater collection system, as well as (of course) more yummy plants! Go to
olinsecretgarden.blogspot.com to follow our progress.

Dining Hall Initiatives
GrOW is working to bring sustainability to our dining hall! We care about reducing the environmental impact that goes into our meals. We want to reduce the negative impact upon the environment from harmful pesticides and unsustainable farming practices. That means pursuing a number of different initiatives in collaboration with our dining hall staff.

Students and dining hall staff are working to increase the amount of healthy, locally sourced food in the dining hall. We’d like to offer more humanely raised meat and dairy products in the cafeteria. We’d also like to increase the number of vegetarian options at each meal, and reduce the amount of meat we’re consuming. We’re hoping to reintroduce meatless Mondays. Livestock like beef and lamb generate more greenhouse gases than other food sources — especially when that livestock comes from factory farming. So if we don’t eat as much meat, maybe our dining hall will be able to afford more sustainably grown meat that’s better for you and the environment. As an individual and an omnivore, there are lots of ways to minimize your environmental impact in the dining hall. You could become a weekday vegetarian, or avoid eating beef and lamb. Get involved with GrOW! Look for our table in the dining hall where we will be discussing ideas for the dining hall, and gathering student support for our initiatives.

Solar at Olin
Well, not yet, but GrOW is working on it! We currently have a meeting scheduled with higher powers to discuss our options for solar. Here at GrOW we are super excited about converting Olin to solar power, and you should be too. With roof-space and the possibility of solar panel-covered parking lot canopies, Olin has the potential to generate most to all of our own energy. Considering the large sums of energy we currently consume from the grid (about 4 million kWh last year), that would be a huge triumph for both the environment and, in time, Olin’s finances. We’ll get back to you soon with more updates on this exciting prospect!