Green Generation Showcase 2024 Highlights

By all measures, the 2024 Green Generation Showcase on April 18th was the biggest in the event’s 13 year history! With over 400 attendees and 206 student participants in the sustainability project showcase, the event appears to be growing in popularity and more faculty believe it is a valuable and worthwhile experience for their students. Serving as the Beach’s annual Earth Day celebration, the event is hosted by the Office of Sustainability and the President's Commission on Sustainability with sponsorship from the Port of Long Beach and Edison International. “Green Gen,” as it is colloquially known on campus, started as a small, student-organized event more than a decade ago to recognize projects students were doing related to various sustainability topics. Since then, it has grown and evolved but the mission remains largely the same: to celebrate student research and creative projects and bring the campus and Long Beach community together for an evening of networking, music, food, and connections at the beautiful Earl B. Miller Japanese Garden! 

"Putting on this event every year is a huge undertaking,” says sustainability manager Holli Fajack. “We are motivated to put in the long hours to make it happen because we believe in the power of education and innovation to drive positive change. By providing a platform for students to showcase their research, creative projects, and technical solutions, our hope is that the Green Generation Showcase will play a part in empowering the next generation of sustainability leaders to make a tangible difference in the world,” states Fajack.  

Green Generation showcase Tablers

The event not only showcases individual projects but also fosters collaboration and engagement across various sectors of the community. It brings together a diverse array of participants, including student clubs such as Re: Wild, Environmental Science & Policy Club, and Water Resources Student Association, alongside local environmental organizations like Long Beach Beekeepers, Pedal Movement, PBS SOCAL, and Los Cerritos Wetlands. 

Cannon Hanson, president of the student organization, Re:wild commented, “The Green Generation Showcase was a beautiful event with so many community members excited about what students are doing. We were so inspired after seeing all the students researching sustainable solutions to modern problems giving us hope for the future of the campus. It also provided a unique opportunity to reach community members who would normally be difficult to get in touch with.“ 

The also event provided a space for local green businesses such as Grid Alternatives and Panacea Holistic Institute to interact with community members and raise awareness about the sustainability commitments of their companies and the services they provide. This convergence of students, community groups, and environmentally conscious businesses creates a dynamic environment for exchanging ideas, networking, and advancing sustainability initiatives within the region. The Office of Sustainability also worked hard to make sure that the Green Generation Showcase was leading by example by being a zero-waste event! All the food service items used at the event were compostable or recyclable, and student volunteers were stationed at each set of bins to help attendees properly sort their waste items.  

 The Green Generation Showcase gave us a great opportunity to put our Green Events Program into practice. The goal of this program is to highlight ways in which events can be more sustainable. We implemented items from our Green Events checklist to help reduce not only waste but also the carbon footprint of the event while also educating attendees. It is our hope that these practices will become the norm here at The Beach! 

-Nanci Torres Poblano, sustainability specialist

So many people came together to make the event possible and a success. Dozens of students, faculty, staff and community members pitched it to help staff the event, serve as judges for the showcase, stand by waste stations to help attendees properly sort their waste, and assist with breakdown and clean up after the party was over. The spirit of community was strong and the organizers could not have been more appreciative. All in all, it was a great evening in the garden that showed that through education, innovation, and collective action, our community can help shape a brighter tomorrow—one project, one conversation, and one sustainable solution at a time.