1Step Thanksgiving Event Celebrates Sustainability and Local Produce

Ramapo College will play host to a Sustainable Thanksgiving, an event to teach students how to eat sustainably and work towards a vegan diet and the benefits of doing so. The event is scheduled to be held in Friends Hall today at 5 p.m.

The Sustainable Thanksgiving is being held by 1Step, the environmental club at Ramapo. This will be the seventh time the event has been held at the College.

"It is intended to have students get the feeling of Thanksgiving  with food and the company of friends, while also learning the benefits of how eating sustainably can help the earth, their community and even themselves," said junior Eric Thompson, president of 1Step.

People overseeing the Sustainable Thanksgiving anticipate a good number of students to come out to Friends Hall. The event will be a roundtable gathering that will not only have food, but will also showcase speakers on the benefits of sustainable agriculture.

Among those speakers is Mike Wilson, professor of Sustainable Agriculture at Ramapo. Others include Matt Soldano, owner of Southtown Farms, located in Mahwah, and Eric Fuchs-Stengel, director of Farm to Live, which is a volunteer organization geared toward educating people on healthy foods and agriculture.

"This concept basically teaches people that regardless of the food, eating locally and in-season is something humans have done throughout history, and only recently have they created a diet of worldwide agriculture on our dinner plates throughout the year," Thompson said.

To keep with the theme of the event, the food being offered will be vegan-friendly and will feature vegetables from the Rockland Farm up the road from the College.

The goal for attendance is more than 100 people, as 1Step student leaders both point to years' past attendance as a measurement.

"Our goal is 150-200 attendants. In years past we've filled Friends Hall and last year we got a count of around 125+ people," Thompson said. "So with all the great food options and speakers, we hope to get anyone and everyone to come out and enjoy with us. The food is free and can be a great new culinary experience for many on campus."

Lauren Geyman, a junior and the creator of the event, explains students should be more aware of what they're eating and should support local farmers.

"The event is to teach students to be more sustainable and eating locally and celebrate nature's bounty," Geyman said.

Students who are looking to attend can expect the food to be served as a buffet style in which they can enjoy while sitting amongst one another listening to the guest speakers.

"We're looking to get everyone engaged," Geyman said, "listening to the speakers and learning about something new if they weren't already aware of sustainable living."