On Tuesday, the Center for Sustainability and the Environment (CSE) hosted their annual Spring Green Day event, in which students and faculty are invited to create projects and raise awareness for environmental causes.
The “Environmental Justice is Reproductive Justice” booth emphasizes the connection between environmental health and reproductive health. President of Students for Reproductive Justice, Mikayla England, a junior from Kalamazoo explained the connection between environmental and reproductive justice.
“A lot of the time, reproductive rights are a very taboo subject and so is environmental justice and we’re seeing a lot of the same disparities with those communities that are being impacted” saidEngland.
England said the fight for justice – for the environment and reproductive health – affects many people among historically marginalized demographics.
“It’s really upsetting to see just how many people are negatively impacted by the environment,” England said. “It’s worse when you’re a minority, when you’re someone who’s impoverished, or any of these areas, because as we know, that’s also where environmental conditions are the worst and that’s also where reproductive health isn’t taken as seriously.”
Another one of the booths at Green Day was the “Thrift Fair Project.” The booth, run by members of CSE, emphasized the effects of overconsumption of clothes on the environment.
The thrift event was hosted on Jan. 27. CSE collected clothing donations that were sold to raise money for the CSE Green Fund, which will be used to fund future student-led projects aimed toward sustainability.
Nieves said that the fashion industry takes a toll on the environment, and part of their goal is to spread that message.
“We would have information on posters about why thrifting is more sustainable and how much water it takes to make a t-shirt” said Nieves.
Nieves said that on top of thrifting being more environmentally friendly, it also gives students a chance to express and share their unique style.
“It was nice because we got to share our styles within our little community,” Nieves said, adding that she has run into professors while wearing their old clothes- “It’s fun because I walk around sometimes, like I grabbed a few things from the Thrift Fair, and my professors would be like, ‘Hey, I donated that shirt,’” Nieves said.