Cottonwood Institute and Johnson & Wales University Student Government Association teamed up once again to host the 6th Annual Sustainability Summit at The Alliance Center in Downtown Denver.
Despite the snow and icy roads, the day started off with an exciting presentation from Sonrisa Lucero, Sustainability Strategist from the City of Denver’s Office of Sustainability. We were given information about the City of Denver’s current sustainability efforts, challenges, and the long term strategic 2020 Sustainability Goals for the Denver community.
The most exciting portion of this summit was the sustainability panel. With assistance from the Cottonwood Institute, panelist included: Frank Coyne, Founding Lead Partner from Denver Green Schools, Beverly Grant, founder of Mo’Betta Green Marketplace, and Arlan Preblud, Founder and Executive Director of We Don’t Waste. Each panelist saw a problem in the community, were proactive, and took action to make an impact in the community for future generations.
After a delicious lunch from Backcountry Delicatessen, a Certifiably Green Restaurant, Cottonwood Institute organized an hour long scavenger hunt of downtown Denver where students had to ask local companies about their sustainable initiatives. Some of these companies consisted of Lucky Pie, the Tattered Cover Café, and Snooze.
The rest of the afternoon was dedicated to planning and executing change back at the Johnson & Wales University – Denver campus. We split up into groups to discuss issues found in our JWU community: transportation, materials & waste, land usage, food waste, and health. Each group defined the problem, had to come up with a strategy, next steps, and then present their plan back to the group. There was a great collaborative discussion with all summit participants around each Action Project.
The summit ended with a reflection of the day where each student shared a DOT – Do One Thing – they will incorporate sustainability in their daily lives. Many of the students discussed how empowered they were by all the new information they’ve absorbed from the panelist and each other.
Written by Jasmine Smith and Jacob Smith, Johnson & Wales students and Student Government Association members, edited by Ford Church.