More than Miller Lawn will be green at Colby May 22. For the third year, commencement is also “Green Graduation”—a designation that comes from a number of initiatives campus-wide.

Green Graduation, like many environmental initiatives at Colby, started as a student project. Three years later, many of the changes have become standard practices. For example, disposable plates, napkins, cups and flatware at all events will be biodegradable.

Making commencement weekend more environmentally friendly meant looking at many practices and making a series of small changes that, when combined, make a difference. Changes include switching to fair trade and organic coffee and tea, eliminating disposable serving platters, bowls, and utensils, serving drinks in carafes by draft instead of from bottles, composting food waste at all served events, and using potted plants instead of cut flowers at events and on stage at commencement.

On Earth Day 2011, the student-led “Take Back the Tap” initiative culminated with the announcement that Colby would no longer sell or serve bottled water, and commencement is no exception. Biodegradable cups will replace bottles of water under graduates’ chairs, and tap water will be served at all events. See WABI-TV5 News spot.

Colby students who are members of the Green Team will be present at events to help with composting, encourage students to sign a sustainability pledge, and share with visitors Colby’s sustainability practices in place all year.