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Thursday, May 23
The Indiana Daily Student

Flower Power encourages sustainability on campus

Participants exchange litter for flowers during "Flower Power" on Saturday at Wright Quad.

From granola-bar wrappers to plastic bottle caps, finding five pieces of trash in exchange for a flower and a Laughing Planet Cafe burrito seemed easy.

After grabbing food and a flower, students could listen to a DJ while walking around Wright Quad and looking at booths focused on different aspects of 
sustainability.

With a make-your-own-burrito stand on one side, a water-bottle tower on the other, and trash cans and recycling bins in the middle, members of the Residence Hall Association ECO-Reps gathered in Wright Quad on Saturday for Flower Power.

The event was a way to raise awareness of waste and sustainability on IU’s campus, said Melissa Bergsneider Serrano, RHA director of sustainability.

“It’s a fun way to show people how to be more sustainable,” Bergsneider Serrano said.

Bergsneider Serrano said she had the idea for the Flower Power event after a similar event occurred last year at Collins.

“I thought the idea was amazing,” she said. “One way to mitigate major environmental problems, such as climate change, is to make everyday behavioral changes.”

Before the event, Lucy Brown and C.C. Brennan, members of IU’s Timmy Global Health chapter, went to Union Street Center and collected empty water bottles to create a sculpture at their table.

Timmy Global Health works to make health care available to everyone around the world.

IU’s chapter of Timmy Global Health recently found 70 to 80 percent of diseases come from unhealthy drinking water, Brown said.

“We’re really privileged to have clean water,” 
Brown said.

Next to Brown’s table was a booth where people could drink tap water and bottled water and try to pick out differences between the two types of water.

“We’re trying to spread awareness and tell students you don’t need to spend $3 on a bottle of water when you can just drink tap,” Brown said.

Once someone is aware of how wasteful buying bottled water can be, they are more likely to decrease that habit, Brown said.

Along with the water-bottle sculpture, Brown and others from her organization sold reusable water bottles to try to decrease the amount of plastic bottles students buy.

While Timmy Global Health focuses on global healthcare, one of the biggest ways everyone can help is by paying more attention to the kinds of water they drink.

“Everyone has a right to clean water, just as everyone has a right to health care,” Brown said.

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