This past December 1-12, St. Olaf celebrated the “12 Days of Sustainability” to promote mindfulness about small lifestyle changes we can make on the Hill. Each day focused on a different aspect of sustainable living. Students could pledge by writing their name on our recycled paper christmas tree or “liking” the day on facebook. After the fact, several students sent in responses on their impression of the 12 day event. Here’s their feedback:

“In the first twelve days of December, I pledged every day and liked the facebook pages. The doors on the website were opened, and I was able to see what the new pledge was. They were a variety of things, and each was geared towards saving the earth we live in- one step at a time…I think that this project was really great! I was made aware of the things I was doing right, but also the things I could be improving on.” – Nora S.

“I really enjoyed participating in the “12 Days of Sustainability” and seeing what each day’s pledge would be. I did every day’s pledge, and what struck me about the whole experience was how easy the pledges were. If I was not doing them already, they were an easy change to make, which goes to show that you don’t have to be a crazy-green person to make small changes that matter. I think this is a good message to be spreading around Olaf. People might wonder if, for example, going tray-less really matters, but when many Oles make that decision together I am sure it makes a notable difference in water use, energy to heat the water, et cetera in Stav Hall! And things like printing double sided, going tray-less, only taking what you can eat, or not taking so long in the shower are easy to implement. Sure it might be more comfortable to grab a tray to balance your plates, cups, ID, and cell phone on, or grab a lot of food so you don’t have to venture back into the crowded caf, but over the course of one’s time at Olaf (and life!) these small changes add up.” – Eden E.

“I think it is insanely important to be informed about the current ecological findings
and apply it to our daily lives. Being consciously aware of our impacts on the environment is the first step to improving our relationship with it. Simply knowing amount of pollution and waste I create by driving my car to get a cup of coffee will make me think twice about doing it.” – Rachel B.

“I enjoyed participating in the Twelve Days of Sustainabilities! This fun experience really opened up my mind to environmentally friendly living habits. It made me more aware of twelve important ways that I can change my daily routine to better serve a sustainable planet. Getting my green room certification was an especially important pledge to do because it gave my roommate and me the opportunity to discuss ways to reduce our current energy usage. We now unplug our electronics when they are not in use and turn off all the lights when leaving the room. Furthermore, the online simulation that showed us our carbon footprint was so fun! I completely agree that using trays in the Caf is unnecessary. Sustainabilities representatives should talk to Randy Clay about discontinuing tray usage. Heck, even Carleton doesn’t use them!”
-Addie L

In response Addie, we have talked to Randy many times about the trayless issue What he says is that he needs to see a change in the student body to show him that trays are unnecessary. And this event is the first step of many to sending a message to Bon Appetit, St. Olaf administration, and other colleges about the kind of lifestyle changes we would like to make! Thank you St. Olaf for your participation

Any students with feedback on 12 days that you would like to post feel free to send an email to