On Saturday, April 22, the Student Action Committee (SAC) hosted its second annual Eco Market Day. The event coincided with Spring Sports Saturday and Earth Day.
SAC used the event to promote awareness of the environment but also of reproductive rights, voting, food insecurity and affordable housing. The purpose of Eco Market Day was to educate the GDS community about social justice issues with a focus on the environment.
At some stalls at Eco Market Day, participants learned about issues that impacted society, such as affordable housing and the refugee crisis. At other stalls, attendees participated in activities like face paint and tie-dye. In addition, organizers distributed books and free plants, and a clothing exchange stall allowed attendees to swap their outfits for another person’s. Food, drinks and snacks were also provided, with participants enjoying popsicles and empanadas.
SAC chair and senior Edie Carey said that Eco Market Day happened in collaboration with the SAC, which planned and organized the event, the Community Engagement and Experiential Learning (CEEL) office, which provided funding, and the Maintenance Team, which helped set up the market. SAC is comprised of subcommittees, including the Environmental Task Force (ETF). The subcommittees each coordinated different booths with activities and messaging relating to their respective focuses.
Senior and current ETF co-head Asha Adiga-Biro suggested having a day to teach community members about the environment last year. SAC worked with the CEEL office to make Eco Market Day a schoolwide event and to fund the event. According to budgeting co-lead and junior Navin Desai, this year the CEEL office allocated a total of $1,000 for the event, though ETF only spent about $700 to $800 in the end.
This year’s Eco Market Day was catered by Jarabe Gourmet Pops and The Welle Made Co. ETF members went to the FRESHFARM Dupont Circle Market to recruit vendors for the event.
Sophomore Audrey Leff spread the word about Eco Market Day on her neighborhood listserve. Leff said that organizers “wanted to just have as many people show up as possible” and hoped that Sports Saturday would bring more visitors to Eco Market Day.
Despite the forecasted rain during Eco Market Day, SAC began the event outside, as planned. Carey said that the committee had planned to move the market into the LMS garage if it rained.
Eco Market Day ended an hour early due to a thunderstorm. Organizers opted to end the event early rather than relocate it to the LMS garage because the rain occured near the end of the event. “I think it was a good day while it lasted,” freshman Paul Smith said.
Smith recognized the significance of the date of Eco Market Day, saying that Eco Market Day was a great way for GDS to celebrate Earth Day.
Freshman Lulu Tirado agreed, saying that “it was really nice seeing all we were doing to give back and recycle and be a better and more eco-friendly school.” Tirado added that she “had a really great time. I think that there were a lot of fun activities,” she said.
Freshman Tatum Mach said she enjoyed helping the organizers, and she added that her favorite part of the event was the snow cone machine.
Eco Market Day also served as a way for GDS to come together as a community. Tirado said that it was nice to see people from the GDS community participating in various activities to learn more about the environment and other social justice issues. The best part was “looking at the GDS community and seeing what a tight-knit community” it is, Tirado said.