The Lafayette Environmental Awareness and Protection student organization (LEAP) is small but mighty. With only 15 active members, LEAP made its presence known this past week by hosting Earth Day initiatives on campus.
The Lafayette Environmental Awareness and Protection (LEAP) student organization has been holding events related to eco-consciousness advocacy all week by hosting Earth Day initiatives on campus. Throughout the week, professors presented on topics in the environmental realm that spanned from carbon dioxide to dams.
“It’s mostly just a way to connect with students and get them more knowledgeable on the environment,” LEAP President Matt Kirkman ‘24 said.
International Affairs Professor Caleb Gallemore gave a talk on Monday, April 18 about social networks and forest conservation in small countries. Visiting Engineering Studies Professor Deborah Stine spoke on Tuesday, April 19 about carbon dioxide removal technologies.
On Wednesday, April 20, Geology Professor Dru Germanoski discussed his Dam Removal Project of the Lower Bushkill Creek. That same day, Government and Law Professor Katalin Fabian spoke about the environmental movement in a global context.
To finish out the speaker series, Chemistry Professor Arielle Mensch presented on Thursday, April 21 about the environmental impact of nanomaterials.
LEAP Director of Public Relations Caitlin Mullooly ‘24 said that the talks were relevant for people of all majors. With her double major in government and law and psychology, this week brought a realization of the many ways in which environmental studies intersect with other fields.
“I didn’t really think that the talks would be as applicable to me, but when I went I felt like there were a lot of ways that you could work in policy studies and advocate at the governmental level,” Mullooly said.
LEAP will also have a table today at EarthFest from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the Quad. They will be showcasing the smoothie bike they built in 2018, which blends smoothie ingredients through pedaling.
To round out the day, the club will be hosting a bingo event at 6 p.m. Following the Earth Day theme, the squares will be themed around the environment. There will be sustainable prizes such as plants and reusable straws.
Overall, Kirkman believes that Earth Day and the week leading up to it are important for pursuing sustainability practices the rest of the year.
“Having this week reminds Lafayette students to stay active, so that way we can hold the school accountable,” Kirkman said. “Remind yourself, for that month, for that week, for that day and for the rest of the year to practice sustainability.”
Mullooly also hopes that the week will inspire more students to join LEAP. Although the club is proud of its contributions so far, they are looking to generate more support to expand its environmental initiatives.
“I hope that Earth Week gives LEAP a little bit more of a voice on campus and more people are inspired to come to our meetings,” Mullooly said.
LEAP has also been expanding its role and outreach on campus outside of Earth Week. On Friday, April 29, they will be partnering with Easton organizations to plant trees at the Lower Hackett Community Garden. All members of the community are encouraged to join.
The club also posts an Eco Tip every Monday to their Instagram page @laf_leap. The pointers are meant to be small-scale sustainability practices that are accessible to college students. Kirkman said that one of his favorite tips is to run the laundry machine on cold water instead of hot.
“It feels good to do sustainable things, but it makes more of an impact than you’re thinking,” Kirkman said.