Leaders Lead: How a Student-Run College Environmental Committee Is Changing the Pallet

Sometimes our advocacy leads to great things. Other times, it falls on deaf ears. Such is the life of an environmental nonprofit. But out of our efforts to reduce emissions massively have grown some pretty amazing partnerships for which we are immensely grateful.

Words can't describe what it means in our world when someone, or some organization, stops, thinks and says: "we want to help."

Today, we'd like to shine a light on one such partnership: Haverford College's Committee for Environmental Responsibility (CER).

Comprised of mostly students and some faculty, CER is Haverford's primary coordinating body for environmental issues. In addition to sponsoring a Green Purchasing Policy for campus operations, CER partners with other departments – and sometimes even other campuses – in order to promote a variety of sustainable practices. This is not glamorous work and no one pays these young women and men. They roll up their sleeves to tackle very challenging issues and politics, and they do it after studying their tails off.

What began with three has now grown to several CER students and administrators reaching out to college campuses across the country advocating for the use of lightweight, recyclable cardboard shipping pallets.

We deeply appreciate CER's decision to drop us a line asking what they could do to help the cause. What began with three has now grown to several CER students and administrators reaching out to college campuses across the country advocating for the use of lightweight, recyclable cardboard shipping pallets.

Let's be clear: Haverford's Committee for Environmental Responsibility is comprised of students who are taking action to be the change they want to see in the world. They recognize that Green Purchasing isn't limited to just products, but also the pallets on which those products are shipped. And they understand that, when it comes to the pallet problem, change will only happen when students and alums compel their administrations to ask for lightweight, recyclable corrugated pallets for campus deliveries.

So cheers to Haverford's Committee for Environmental Responsibility! Someday soon, we hope to see student groups on dozens of campuses advocating for changing the pallet. And when that day comes, we'll remember that our national university campaign took shape thanks to your curiosity, passion and selfless offer to join us in the trenches. Thank you CER.