Penn State Berks to hold two sustainability events in November

Senior Dakota Schoppe (left) and Dr. Mahsa Kazempour are pictured with the composting containers now found across campus.

Penn State Berks senior Dakota Schoppe, left, and Mahsa Kazempour are pictured with the composting containers now found across campus.

Credit: Alan Shirk

READING, Pa. — The Penn State Berks Sustainability Team, led by Mahsa Kazempour, associate professor of science education, will host a sustainability fair and film screening in November. These activities and events, planned and coordinated by various faculty, staff and students, will focus on raising awareness and encouraging personal and community action. Both events are free and open to the public.

On Monday, Nov. 11, the college will host a sustainability fair with a focus on sustainability in general and waste and food waste in particular. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside the Gaige Technology and Business Innovation Building. The event will feature educational activities; engaging and informative demonstrations; and information stations led by students, faculty, staff and community organizations. Campus and community members are encouraged to submit creative works (poetry, art, essays, displays, inventions) related to sustainability — and the issue of waste in particular — for inclusion in the Nov. 11 event and a chance to win a prize. To submit your work, contact Kazempour at [email protected]. Prizes will be awarded in each category.

The college also will host a screening of "Death by Design" at 6:15 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18, in Room 5, Luerssen Building. This feature-length documentary asks what is the cost of our digital dependency and uncovers a global story of damaged lives, environmental destruction and devices that are designed to die. According to the imbd website, by 2020, 4 billion people will have a personal computer and 5 billion people will own a mobile phone. But this revolution has a dark side, hidden from most consumers. In an investigation that spans the globe, filmmaker Sue Williams investigates the underbelly of the electronics industry and reveals how even the smallest devices have deadly environmental and health costs. From the intensely secretive factories in China, to a ravaged New York community and the high tech corridors of Silicon Valley, the film tells a story of environmental degradation, of health tragedies, and the fast approaching tipping point between consumerism and sustainability. 

For more information on Penn State Berks sustainability events, visit or contact Kazempour at 610-396-6312 or via e-mail at [email protected].