MacKinnon Hall spreads the word about local food
By Mayuri Mei Lin, CG News
‘Mackin on Local Food’ was held yesterday at MacKinnon Hall at Ohio University in conjunction with Earth Month. Jill Carson, a resident assistant for MacKinnon Hall, organized the event, which was a recycle drive that doubled as a platform to educate OU students about local food.
Students who brought recyclable items were offered locally produced food for dinner. In addition, students were able to exchange their regular light bulbs for energy efficient CFL bulbs.
Apart from eating a diverse selection of locally produced food, students were given the opportunity to make bottle cap magnets as another effort to promote sustainability.
Eric Horton, an RA in MacKinnon Hall, said that he did not really know about any local places previously. “I learned a lot about local joints here,” Horton said. “The bottle cap magnets are the best!”
“I like it because it gave me a chance to try new food,” said Rachel Grauer, a MacKinnon Hall resident.
Carson, who has always been deeply involved in sustainability, said that the reason behind this event was to bring sustainability efforts to MacKinnon. Also, because the event coincided with Earth Month and the inter-residence hall recycling challenge, this was a great opportunity to engage the students in environmental issues, Carson said.
Carson added that this was a great opportunity to bridge the gap between residents and the community. She said that first and second year students did not previously have the opportunity to engage with the Athens community, and this was a good way to spur that connection.
By engaging with the Athens community, Carson hopes that her residents will be more involved in sustainability efforts both on and off campus. She goes the extra mile to educate the residents of MacKinnon about opportunities available to them regarding sustainability – from composting to environmental courses – in hopes that they will eventually give back to the community. Carson has high hopes that people will take advantage of locally produced food, thereby reducing their carbon footprints and supporting Athens’ economy.
Carson said she hopes residents of both MacKinnon Hall and the rest of South Green will venture out into the Athens community and advocate in favor of local food vendors.