Colby College, ME Green Graduation

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Colby College, ME, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Announced in 2008

Source File:


In our continuing quest to increase environmental awareness and responsibility at Colby, the college has implemented a number of practices intended to make the events of graduation weekend "green." We have looked at every aspect of the plans for graduation, from the food offered to the transportation needed to attend in order to reduce the environmental impact of the weekend's events.

Commencement is a major event each year at Colby College. It is both a celebration of the accomplishments of students and a chance for parents and guardians to see the college that their children have attended for four years. Because this event takes year-long planning, a Green Graduation involves the efforts of all the people involved. It is a chance to ensure that everyone who plans the event is on the same wavelength and understands methods for being environmentally conscious. Commencement is also a great opportunity for education. Because it is widely attended and publicized, the environmental efforts made at graduation will teach a wide variety of people that it is possible to have an event that is both polished and environmentally conscious.

To read President Adams' announcement about Green Graduation, see the background info tab above.

Colby’s Green Graduation will include educational booths that are run by a trained student group called the Green Team. These booths will include information about the Green Graduation and about Green Colby in general. They will provide guests with the Green Living Brochure and explain how to purchase carbon offsets. We will provide education about carbon offsets and the amount that they would most likely cost, but we will not collect money at the booth. The educational booth will also give students and guests the option to “Show their Green” and make a talisman out of the green twine we provide. These talismans can take many shapes; by wearing them, guests are simply showing that they support the initiative that Colby is taking to protect the environment. These educational booths will be placed in two areas with high guest popularity: between the parking lot and Roberts Lawn and near the Pulver Pavillion Information Desk. There will also be eye-catching posters such as a comparison of the products traditionally used at graduation to the products at Green Graduation, a map of carbon emissions and offset costs to travel to Colby, and other visuals highlighting the Green Graduation. Members of the Green Team will be present to answer any questions and to help guests decide to offset their travel emissions.

The Green Team will also be present throughout graduation to answer any questions the guests might have about the Green Graduation. They will wear eye-catching t-shirts and be present near the waste stations at dining events to help guests understand the types of products that can go in each receptacle. By having students visibly supporting the event, the guests of the Green Graduation will have a better understanding of the actions Colby is taking during commencement.