Conscious Consumerism: Think Before You Buy

Story posted October 19, 2007

Conscious Consumerism is a five-week campaign running through Nov. 16, 2007, aimed at changing consumption habits on campus. Conceived of and executed by Cohesion, a coalition of student activist groups, the campaign seeks to educate the campus about the complexities behind slogans like "buy local" and "union-made," and show students how small changes in their purchasing choices can have an impact on important issues.

Each week focuses on a different product commonly consumed by college students: beer, gas, clothes, health/beauty products and pizza. Several groups from the coalition will present the problems behind mainstream consumption habits concerning each product and offer alternatives.

In addition to an information table in Smith Union, events such as teach-ins, movies, and do-it-yourself workshops will be held (see schedule below).

Working together, Bowdoin Queer Straight Alliance, Bowdoin Students for Peace, Bowdoin Women's Association, College Democrats, The Democratic Left, the Evergreens and Global Justice created the concept and the formatting. Specific events each week will also be co-sponsored with the college houses, the communal bike club and the co-op.

Schedule of Selected Events

Beer Week (Oct. 15-21)
Monday, All day (Smith Union) Information table
Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. (Kresge Auditorium) American Beer
Saturday, (MacMillan House) Socially responsible Octoberfest party co-sponsored with MacMillan House

Gas Week (Oct. 22-28)
Monday, All day (Smith Union) Information table
Wednesday, 8 p.m. (Cram Alumni House) Teach-in
Thursday, 7 p.m. (Beam Classroom, Visual Arts Center) Who Killed the Electric Car?
Friday, 3 p.m. (Meet at polar bear outside Smith Union) Brunswick Bike Ride co-sponsored with the cycling club and the communal bike club

Clothes Week (Oct. 29-Nov. 4)
Monday, All day (Smith Union) Information table
Tuesday afternoon (Smith Union) Make your own costume
Wednesday, 8 p.m. (Beam Classroom, Visual Arts Center) Fair Labor
Thursday, 7 p.m. (Burnett House) Teach-in with Prof. Joe Bandy

Cleaning Supplies Week (Nov. 5-11)
Monday, All day (Smith Union) Information table
Wednesday, 7 p.m. (Beam Classroom, Visual Arts Center) The Naked Truth Project
Thursday, 4 p.m. (Residence Halls) Dorm storm with 7th Generation cleaning products
Friday, 3 p.m. (Smith Union) Makeovers

Pizza Week (Nov. 12-16)
Monday, All day (Smith Union) Information table
Wednesday, 8 p.m. (Sills 205) Supersize Me
Thursday, 6:30 p.m. (Ladd House) Locally grown dinner co-sponsored with Co-op, followed by panel discussion with Professors Matthew Klingle and Jennifer Scanlon
Friday (Quinby House) Culminating event

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