Sometime soon, on a college campus, you may see some people wearing plastic bottle bottoms over their eyes. It's not as weird as you might think. A traveling street-theatre troupe, the Goggles Project, aka Rethink University, has come to town.
It's the brainchild of Dr Tarah Wright, a Dalhousie University environment prof. In a two-year study, she found that university presidents were unaware of sustainability issues and did not know how to change. She decided to generate awareness and support from the bottom up. She enlisted a dedicated group of young actors from Halifax NS to tour from coast to coast, going out to meet youth in their favourite campus haunts. wherever there is high foot traffic. Lounging on the lawn, or rubbernecking at the actors, you may suddenly become part of the action.
On Goggles. Stop and question passing students. Do you know what sustainability is? Do you know what you can do? How? Here's a pair, now do you see things differently? Many do. The 12-minute script allows lots of interaction, improvisation, and just plain fun.
So far the troupe has toured 18 Canadian universities. A sweep into US campuses is planned this year. They have also been seen at ASSHE in Denver, and at the EMSU conference in Delft, the Netherlands. Next show will be at York U's Staging Sustainability Conference, April 20-22 in Toronto.
See also: Goggles Project on Facebook; Lindsay Cole, Campus Sustainability Assessment Framework (CSAF) (MA thesis 2003); Building CSAF Research Skills and Capacity; Almut Beringer, (2006) "Campus sustainability audit research in Atlantic Canada...", IJSHE 10.4; Sustainable Concordia, Brock U Assessment (2008); U of T Mississauga Assessment (2009); UC Berkeley Sustainability Reports (2005-2010)