In 2009, we started as a small group of students who were interested in making a change, bringing our passion for the environment to the heart and soul of our fellow classmates and the people in the community around us. We came across the 350.org movement that focused their efforts on lowering the levels of carbon emissions on a global scale. So we gathered a larger group of students with the support of Ringling College of Art and Design's Student Life, and went down to South Lido Beach with our Maintenance's shovels and buckets and moved a couple of tons of sand to build a giant nose sand sculpture, representing the Earth's breathing system.
The following year, the beautiful date 10.10.10 was in our calendar and we found out about the catchy british 1010 Global program, that broke down the overall goal of 350 by promoting the commitment of individuals, companies, colleges to cut down 10 % of their carbon emission a year. That sounded a more reasonable and something we could look into as an ongoing project for our college, so we adopted it!
For the year of 2010 we upgraded our event to a program we called the Green Week. Once again we partnered with Ringling’s Student Life, doing a Sucata workshop with recyclable materials collected on the course of two weeks, putting a show with the objects and installations produced, and bringing environmental activists from Transition Sarasota, Sarasota Power, Slow Food Greater Sarasota and Orange Blossom Community Garden to a panel discussion held in our Academic Center Auditorium.
That was our first contact with a significant group of greatly invested environmental activists in our community. We learned a lot from them and had great insights on the way we could engage in the community as students and creatives. We realized this didn't mean a simple personal investment in superficial environmentally friendly product alternatives, but an overall reassessment in our ways of being, understanding reducing our carbon footprint was a commitment that implied being willing to change habits and attitudes towards consumerism and imperatives of comfort, thinking holistically about how our decisions satisfy the market's expectations and how our mode of production impacts our environment in the long term run.
This is when our third program takes place, the AQUA WEEK where we are starting to focus on another environmental issue that is huge and very important in our local as well as global community: water. We are linking this topic to the carbon emission by talking about bottled water and it's impact in the entire planet, being the number one domestic waste pollutant. With our DROP IT Campaign, we are aiming to adress this issue.