ThurtenE promotes sustainability

Elizabeth Graham | Student Life

This year’s ThurtenE Carnival, with the theme “Stay Enchanted,” comes with a heightened sense of sustainability, featuring the introduction of new measures such as compostable eating instruments and repurposed rain barrels.

Using a grant from the Student Sustainability Fund, the 13 juniors that make up the current ThurtenE Honorary purchased compostable utensils and serviceware to be used during the carnival.

“Each year, we try to make another push to make the carnival more sustainable, so we applied for a grant…to help offset the cost for those student groups,” ThurtenE Public Relations co-chair Dara Baker said. “We’re really happy [Student Sustainability Fund] granted that to us, and we’re excited to work with them this year.”

The rain barrels, a gift from Coca-Cola, were converted from syrup barrels and will be decorated by participants of the carnival and sold at the event. Attendees will be able to set their own prices.

“Typically at a store like Home Depot, you can buy [a barrel] as a do-it-yourselfer as well, but it ranges from $80-120, so it’s a good value,” Baker said. “Those proceeds are also going to the charity.”

Coca-Cola also provided several recycling bins made from the same barrels that will be positioned around the perimeter of the event.

The sponsored charity of this year’s carnival is Provident, one of the oldest charities in St. Louis. Provident offers members of the community different services such as counseling, crisis intervention and after-school programs.

Student group participants were unaware of details of the new sustainability initiatives but discussed how sustainable practices had manifested during construction of their booths, known as facades.

“[ThurtenE has] always done a really good job of keeping wood and trash separate so you can recycle things and reuse wood,” senior and Delta Gamma member Stephanie Budrus said. “It’s something they’re pretty good about, making sure we’re not wasting a whole bunch of stuff, because it can easily happen.”

Budrus said the ThurtenE honorary has also made sustainability measures more accessible this year.

“[They’ve done a good job by] having things labeled more clearly; it’s a lot closer,” she said. “I think they’ve taken considerations of the past, taken it to heart and improved it pretty well.”

Budrus added that Delta Gamma has attempted to reuse more of its wood from last year and watch its costs in order to give more to its two chosen charities.

“I remember seeing the words ‘composting’ and ‘sustainability’ being thrown around, so it’s obviously been on their minds a lot, and you can tell they’re trying to push it,” senior and Alpha Epsilon Phi member Valerie Deutsch said. “Any big event should try and be sustainable. If you can get thousands of people to be sustainable, that’s good.”

  • Anonymous

    I liked the grass thing because I thought it was a joke. It would have been funny as a joke. You know how much paint get spilled? Let’s try to sustain-ably replace asphalt…

  • Anon

    How about all that grass they kill?

    • Dara Baker

      The grass is protected by WashU’s Event Decking, which is also laid down for graduation and other outdoor ceremonies.

      • Summer Shandy

        I don’t know. Surely there’s still some grass destroyed due to the carnival that needs to subsequently be replaced. Perhaps Thurtene could consider relocating to a more sustainable, paved location?