Underwear project at Allegheny College from The Meadville Tribune on Vimeo.
Hang onto your tighty-whities! Or better yet, put them on a drying rack and save the planet. That’s the message that one group of Allegheny College environmental science students is broadcasting on their mission to raise awareness about carbon emissions.
“At first, we thought about hanging 350 bed sheets on clotheslines to express the ‘350 Project,’” said Lauren Quintrell. “But we soon figured out that we wouldn’t be able to collect 350 sheets.”
So Quintrell, along with Julianne (Jules) D’Amico, Marieke Perchik, Fiona Hensley and Liz Benvin, put their heads together to think of another way to represent the number 350 parts per million, which is the level of carbon dioxide that the earth’s atmosphere can support before it can no longer function properly and irreparable damage occurs.
That’s when Quintrell modified the plan to a smaller –– and in some cases, a much, much smaller –– scale.
“We thought ‘why not underwear?’ ” Quintrell said, as she pinned a pair next to some socks on a rope strewn between two trees in front of the Campus Center.
So the group of students began to solicit for underwear and whatever unmentionables they could find to make their statement.
“Making it to 350 was a bit more challenging than we thought it would be,” she said. “We found out that people aren’t keen on letting you borrow their underwear.”
So the group of young women began to search the unclaimed piles of clothes at various laundry facilities and lost-and-
founds around campus. When they still didn’t have enough, they continued to explore options. There were a couple of ideas that they ruled out, such as hitting up members of the administration, faculty and staff.
“We didn’t ask them because that would reach a whole new level of awkward,” she said.
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