Students played with garbage during UNM’s third annual Sustainability Expo.
As part of the expo, UNM Recycling hosted a trash-sorting competition. The group dropped a pile of collected trash on a large tarp outside the SUB where students could compete in sorting out the recyclables for prizes.
Sustainability student Melodie D’Amour said the competition taught students how to identify recyclable trash items.
“We believe that one of the reasons that our program is not so effective here is that people are unclear of what they can recycle,” she said. “If we can bring that to light, it will motivate people to confidently be a part of the recycling community.”
The expo also featured the Lobo Growers Market. Students organized the market as a project for a Sustainability Studies class.
The market teaches students about sustainable methods of food production, student organizer Hiram Camp said. He said the market connects students to local producers.
“It’s nice because we are the middle point of it — the epicenter,” he said. “There is information on the outside but once you walk through the middle you see all these products and people and all this food.”
Other features of the expo included an alternative transportation fair and a UNM Police Department bicycle auction.
Camp said the turnout for the market is encouraging.
“The smell is delicious,” he said. “Food is something that is a necessity. If you don’t have food, you’re dead. We can drink dirty water for awhile, but if you don’t know how to grow your own food or you don’t know where it comes from, you’re out of luck.”
Jessica Rowland, sustainability studies instructor, said she hopes the event will influence people to engage in community agriculture.
“We really want to raise awareness about sustainability,” she said. “By having these events, we hope that students, staff, faculty and community members here on campus will learn more about sustainability issues, and why we should support local businesses and agriculture. It looks like it’s working.”