Creation Week promotes green habits

Following a viewing of the documentary “Food, Inc.,” Matt Hess, ministry guidance supervisor, leads (from left) health services and student life representative Amanda Allen, El Paso freshman Catherine Sotelo, and Katy freshmen Shohani Islam and Odera Anyasinti in a discussion about healthy foods in America as well as free trade and organic food options.Jed Dean | Lariat Photo Editor

By Molly Dunn

In celebration of Earth Week, Baylor sustainability has dedicated the first three days of this week to educating the university about leading a sustainable life.

Creation Week focuses on sustainability and all of its aspects. Whether by riding a bicycle, eating outside, choosing to recycle or eating food that is locally grown, Baylor students will be educated in ways to live a sustainable life.

Smith Getterman, sustainability coordinator at Baylor, has been working with the sustainability student advisory board and the on-campus dining halls to promote Creation Week.

“It’s the first time in Baylor’s history we’ve had a Creation Week celebration,” Getterman said. “It’s really fantastic that we have students that are this passionate about caring for God’s creation and bringing attention to the fact that we, as Christians and as a Christian school, should be leaders in this area.”

Creation Week began Monday and ends Wednesday, with each day dedicated to promoting sustainability as a whole.

The film “Food Inc.,” sponsored by the Baylor Poverty Initiative, was shown Monday in the Bill Daniel Student Center, and a discussion was moderated by the education director for World Hunger Relief, Matt Hess, after the showing.

Creation Week continues at 3 p.m today during Baylor’s Dr Pepper Hour in the Barfield Drawing Room in the Bill Daniel Student Center.

“[Baylor Sustainability has] invited student organizations that have some connection to sustainability,” Getterman said. “They’ll be able to tell people visiting Dr Pepper Hour how Baylor students are making a difference.”

Creation Week will conclude from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday with a creation celebration outside the Bill Daniel Student Center in the Vara Martin Daniel Plaza.

Rockwall sophomore Nick Pokorny, the chair of the sustainability student advisory board, encouraged students to partake in the events.

“They should bring some food from the cafeteria and sit out and enjoy,” Pokorny said. “There’s going to be local groups there from around the community talking about ways that they are sustainable and what they do for Waco and how you can get involved.”

Getterman said students should eat outside to truly appreciate the environment.

“We’re encouraging people that day to eat lunch outside because we spend a lot of time, especially when we’re going from building to building going to class, indoors, artificial man-made areas, spaces and we take for granted how beautiful the space that God created for us is,” Getterman said.

Along with the encouragement to eat outside, those in charge of Creation Week want students to avoid driving their cars to class. Instead, students are encouraged to walk to class or ride a bicycle.

“Sustainability overall is how we manage our resources to lessen our impact on God’s earth,” Getterman said. “That’s why, for me, it makes so much sense that Baylor is doing sustainability because if you think about the grand system of sustainability, it’s all about caring for your neighbor.”

The other aspect of sustainability will be incorporated into the dining halls Monday through Wednesday.

The menus featured at each dining hall will be from locally sourced produce and meats. Some of the items served in the dining halls will include orange spice cake made from oranges grown in Rio Queen Farms in McAllen, citrus chicken with orange and grapefruit relish from Mission and other local produce and meats prepared by Baylor’s campus executive chef Ben Hernandez.

“Sustainable meals is eating locally, eating organically, making sure that the food that you’re consuming is as organic as possible,” Getterman said. “It has the lowest impact on the environment. It has the lowest impact on the workers, the farmers and the people that are shipping it, even the process of shipping.”

Getterman said he hopes students will remember the lessons they learned during Creation Week long after they leave Baylor.

“As a university, it’s our job to educate future leaders on these issues, so when you go out in the working world, you’re prepared to positively affect the people that you’re surrounded by,” Getterman said.