Earthfest celebrates Stanford’s sustainability initiatives

April 26, 2015, 12:25 p.m.
Earthfest was also a celebration of Earth Day. (ARANV MARIWALA/The Stanford Daily)
Earthfest was also a celebration of Earth Day. (CATALINA RAMIREZ-SAENZ/The Stanford Daily)

Guitarists strummed, students munched on create-your-own trail mix and the sun shown down on Columbae’s front lawn this Friday as students and Prospective Freshmen (ProFro’s) alike celebrated the start of the weekend at Earthfest, a celebration of Stanford’s sustainability.

Earthfest, under a smattering of different names, has been put on for the past five years by Students for a Sustainable Stanford (SSS). The festival this year was an afternoon of music by the Stanford band, Siberian Front, snacks galore and booths with activities from sustainability groups across campus.

Analisa Shields-Estrada ’15 has helped plan the different festivals over her four years as a part of SSS. The earth-themed event has taken the form of everything from a family festival at White Plaza to nighttime band concerts.

“We want to bring together all parts of Stanford. I could convince my non-sustainability-focused friends to come out just for a fun Friday afternoon. They hang out and check out the different booths, and so we’re able to get people introduced to sustainability who may not be sustainability-minded,” Shields-Estrada said.

Andrew Jacobs ’16, another member of SSS, was in charge of organizing the different student sustainability groups on campus who set up booths on Columbae’s lawn.

“This is really put on by students explicitly for students which makes it quite unique,” Jacobs said, explaining that the Office of Sustainability puts on a similar event but focuses it on the entire Stanford community rather than specifically the students. Jacobs noted that Earthfest was perfectly timed this year for Admit Weekend so that ProFros could see Stanford’s focus on sustainability first hand.

“It’s both Earth Week, since Earth Day was Wednesday, and Admit Weekend, which is perfect timing for prospective students to come out and learn more about sustainability efforts on campus,” Jacobs said.

Anna Whittell, a ProFro who has already committed to join the class of 2019 enjoyed relaxing at Earthfest as a part of her Admit Weekend, which was otherwise a whirlwind of scheduled activity.

“This is like a mini-Coachella,” Whittell laughed.

Whittell liked seeing that Stanford students care deeply about the earth, something she can relate to. “I like the focus on protecting the environment and the culture that goes along with that,” Whittell said. “Students are really aware of what they’re putting into the earth and what they’re getting back out.”

Other ProFros mingled with current Stanford students and enjoyed munching on “dirt dessert,” a chocolate pudding full of edible accouterments, playing games to win reusable water bottles and learning more about student groups they could already put their name down on the email list for.

Lauren Gibson ’17, who was passing out vegan cookies that had been made by a solar powered cardboard oven, was glad that ProFros got the chance to stop by.

“This is ensuring sustainability not only for our present campus, but also for our future,” Gibson said.

Courtney Pal ’18, a member of Fossil Free Stanford, had similar sentiments.

“I think getting ProFros involved in the Fossil Free movement is great. There are over 400 Fossil Free groups at colleges across the United States so wherever they end up they can get involved,” Pal said.


Contact Elizabeth Wallace at wallacee ‘at’



Correction: A previous version of this article attributed a quote to Emily Shields-Estrada, it has since been correctly attributed to Analisa Shields-Estrada. The Daily regrets this error.


Liz Wallace, class of 2018, is a reporter for the Stanford Daily with a love for environmental science, literature, and late night discussions over mugs of hot chocolate. Wallace hails from Winston-Salem, North Carolina and can be contacted at [email protected].

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