Class of 2014
International Studies Major and
Cultural Studies and Philosophy and Religion Minors
Aislinn Mirsch grew up in Eugene, Ore. – a place where people have the tendency to glare at you for throwing a plastic bottle into the garbage.
For Aislinn, recycling, sustainability and conservation has become a lifestyle. “I work pretty hard to keep up my capabilities,” she said.
When attending activities on campus, Aislinn said, “I try and plan ahead and bring my own water bottle. Recycling is one thing, but using and reusing your own is a step above that.”
She also tries to conserve water by turning it off during showers and makes a conscious effort to not take more food than she can eat.
“I grew up with parents who were very much into composting, recycling and growing our own food,” Aislinn said. “When I came to Bridgewater, I wanted to step up to help advance the College’s recycling efforts.”
One way Aislinn has stepped up is by joining the campus chapter of New Community Project (NCP), an organization that promotes peace, environmental stewardship and experiential learning.
One project on which Aislinn focused was the Bike BC program, sponsored by NCP and the Environmental Task Force. Aislinn, who serves as head of the bike-sharing program, said the group accepts donated bikes, paints them in fun colors, attaches laminated instructions to them and places them around campus for students to use. Aislinn wants her classmates to know the bikes exist and are available for use.
Since Aislinn enjoys teaching children about environmental issues, NCP sponsored an event called Playing with Cardboard Boxes and notified the College’s employees that Aislinn and other NCP participants were available for an afternoon of babysitting services.
The event utilized recycled cardboard boxes from Parkhurst Dining Services. Transforming the campus mall with castles and obstacle courses, the children had fun building and painting the boxes. The group also performed a puppet show that taught kids how to recycle.
Aislinn’s involvement with NCP pushed her to pursue a learning tour with Dr. David Radcliff, the organization’s founder and a 1975 Bridgewater alumnus.
During the summer of 2012, Aislinn traveled with Radcliff and NCP to Ecuador where her group focused on the environmental issue of how the rainforest is being affected by oil companies drilling in the region. Upon returning to campus in the fall, she gave a presentation on BC’s Big Question for 2013-14 “What is Fair?”
According to Aislinn, “being open to new ideas may create a safer and healthier way of living in the community and the world.”
“This is a college campus and if you don’t learn about sustainable living practices here, then I think that for the rest of your life it might be harder to learn about them,” Aislinn said.