One person’s trash is another person’s fashion

By Amber Williams

[Image courtesy of]

Pictured above: Participants in the 2015 Trashion Fashion Show

The fourth annual Trashion Fashion Show is coming to the Rigas Family Theater in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts tomorrow night at 7 p.m., and excitement among the designers, models and judges is growing.

The Trashion Fashion Show is an annual event sponsored by St. Bonaventure University’s recyling club, Tread Lightly, as part of their campus recycling movement “Recyclemania.” St. Bonaventure students and faculty work together to convert trash into fashion statements.

Continue reading “One person’s trash is another person’s fashion”

Bonas Gets Trashy: Trashion Fashion 2015

By Caitlyn Morral

[Image courtesy of] 

St. Bonaventure’s Tread Lightly is getting trashy.

On Tuesday, April 21, the Rigas Family Theater in the Quick Center for the Arts hosted this year’s Trashion Fashion Show. Nine contestants walked the stage, modeling unique outfits made out of recycled material by another designer.

The Trashion Fashion Show is an annual event sponsored by the campus recycling group Tread Lightly. The show encourages students to reuse and recycle materials that may normally be considered trash.

Assistant curator at the Quick Center for the Arts Sean Conklin hosted the event and put a lot of effort into making sure that the show went as planned.

“I’m continually blown away every year at how creative everyone is and how good the show turns out,” said Conklin. “I think this year—more than previous years—people were very thoughtful and really took into account every aspect of the show.”

Students had to be creative and used a variation of materials such as these: soup cans, bottle caps, organic compostable materials, gum wrappers, foam, fruit netting, newspaper and coffee cup holders.

Conklin designed two of the winning fashions, “Andy’s Glitter Factory Gurl” and “Savaged Beauty, Reclaimed Grace.”

The first, made completely from bottle caps and inspired by Andy Warhol’s muse Edie Sedgwick, was modeled by junior journalism and mass communication and Theater double major and “Top Trashionista” winner Chernice Miller.

“I’m really happy that we won this year,” said Miller. “Sean went to all of the bars in town and asked them for the bottle caps that were left over at the end of the night. He got seven bags, but we ended up only using half of a bag.”

The second dress was modeled by freshman undecided science major and “Trashionista” winner Asia Williams.

“The idea behind the dress with the white and gold outlining was to be a representation of Mother Earth and her purity,” she said. “Over time mankind has started to destroy her and she is being covered with filth, which was represented by the black head piece that ran down the length of my back. Overall, I think the end results were wonderful and that the dress was modeled nicely to show the detailing.”


In addition to the Top Trashionista and Trashionista titles, three other participants emerged as winners of the Top Model, Top Model Runner Up and People’s Choice awards.

“My look was inspired by spring time and planting season,” said Maggie Morris, director of the St. Bonaventure Bona Buddies program and designer of the Top Model design, “Roofiooo,” modeled by David Bryant. “I also love the movie ‘Hook’ and the character Roofio, and I could not have been more proud of my model David Bryant. He did an amazing job.”

“When I began thinking of possible movie references combined with my own experience as a model, I immediately turned to Derek Zoolander for help,” said People’s choice winner Erik Furgal. “Once I picked the inspiration for my design, I had to begin brainstorming as to what materials I would use.”

Furgal said he raided his floor’s recycling room for leftover cardboard boxes and trash bags; scavenged for discarded newspaper all over campus; and used gum wrappers to fashion a pair of gloves.

The only materials he purchased were spray paint and a roll of tape.

Freshman journalism and mass communication major Taylor Walker was inspired by Angelina Jolie’s character in the movie “Maleficent.”

“The items used in the design were three different types of black garbage bags, which made the dress and cape. My headpiece, which was the main accessory to prove I was Maleficent, was made out of two cardboard hats and black foam,” she said.

The fashion show also included a panel of three judges who decided the winners of four of the five awards. Among them included artist in residence at St. Bonaventure, Anne Mormile.

“I’m so glad I was able to participate as a judge,” Mormile said. “I felt that all of the contestants were creative, and it was a tough choice, for sure. I can’t wait to see what they come up with for next year!”

Bonaventure Trashion Week 2014

By Elyse Breeze, @ElyseBreeze 

St. Bonaventure University’s on-campus recycling club celebrated this year’s “Recyclemania by hosting the 2nd annual Trashion Fashion Show in the Quick Center for the Arts. On Thursday night, students from Tread Lightly, which organized the event, used this as an opportunity to suggest practical ways of converting the items we would consider trash into fashion statements.

The hosts of the evening, Rebecca Wager and Sean Conklin, introduced the fashions one by one as they strutted onto the stage. Post-consumer products of all kinds were used in the making: garbage bags, coffee filters, macaroni and cheese boxes, paint samples, tampon boxes, and so much more. Wager, herself, sported a custom made newspaper vest she had clipped up the night before out of boredom.

Between acts, the audience was graced with several performances by members of the Slam Poetry Club regarding Mother Earth; important lessons in loving yourself, philosophy, and the first man who gave himself a haircut.

Continue reading “Bonaventure Trashion Week 2014”

‘Recyclemania’ set for Feb. 2

By Joe Pinter, @JPinter93

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. (Jan. 28) — 75,000.

That’s the number of trees demolished to make one circulation of The New York Sunday Times.

That number seem high? It isn’t.

St. Bonaventure University’s Tread Lightly has brought much light lately to recycling. The club will also begin a campaign, Recyclemania, which will continue to promote recycling by students and faculty. It begins on Feb. 2.

“Recyclemania is essentially trying to make Bonaventure students aware that recycling is important and it does help our planet,” said Tristan King, a sophomore member of Tread Lightly. “During that whole period, we enforce recycling. In dorms we enforce students to recycle more and use the recycle bins in the garbage areas instead of just using the garbage cans.”

Continue reading “‘Recyclemania’ set for Feb. 2”

SGA meeting: ‘Recyclemania’ and Spring Weekend

By Joe Pinter, @JPinter93

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. (Jan 28) — At its biweekly meeting, the St. Bonaventure University Student Government Association discussed a campus recycling campaign and Spring Weekend, among other things.

Tread Lightly members Katrina Teeter and JW Cook started off the meeting discussing Recyclemania, which begins Feb. 2.

The campaign will raise awareness for recycling and try to raise the recycling amount to 25 percent.

Continue reading “SGA meeting: ‘Recyclemania’ and Spring Weekend”

Unplug and shutdown with Tread Lightly

 By Maddie Gionet, Co-editor in chief, @MaddieGNA

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. (Oct. 17) – The green may be disappearing from the trees scattered across St. Bonaventure University’s campus as fall sets in, but Tread Lightly is bringing the green back during Sustainability Week.

Starting Wednesday, Tread Lightly will work to promote sustainability and going green in an effort to reduce the university’s energy consumption by more than 25 percent (which it did last year).

“We would love to exceed the 25 percent energy reduction from last year, but meeting that number would be just as great,” said Alex Bulszewicz, a senior finance major.

Tread Lightly, started on campus by students a few years ago, focuses on promoting sustainability on campus through recycling and other green initiatives.

“We usually do a ‘Take Back the Cap’ initiative in which we encourage students to buy aluminum water bottles which we sell,” said Gina Shumate, a senior environmental science major.

Along with ‘Take Back the Cap,’ the group sponsors Sustainability Week with events taking place on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to ultimately make students and others on campus aware of the club’s cause.

“We want people to know their little actions do make a difference,” said Shumate, the vice president of the club. “Being aware of what you’re doing and doing small things like recycling or shutting off your lights when you leave your room do make a difference.”

And a difference will be made this week with the events the club has planned.

Kicking off Sustainability Week on Wednesday, Oct. 17, the club will host the ‘Second Hand Swap’ event in the Thomas Merton Center from 3 to 7 p.m.

“You can come and drop off a piece of clothing, shoes or any other items you might have and then swap them in for something someone else has dropped off,” said Bulszewicz, the club’s president.

On Thursday, Oct. 18, there will be a viewing of the documentary Sun Come Up in Walsh Auditorium at 7 p.m. which will also be a plenary session for Senior Forum.

“The documentary is about a group of people who live on an island close to sea level and how the melting glaciers are impacting their home and where they live,” said Shumate. “You hear about global warming all the time, but this documentary puts a face to the issue.

‘Unplug and Shutdown Day’ will take place on Friday, Oct. 19, and both Shumate and Bulszewicz hope the Bonaventure community will make a conscious effort to be aware of their energy consumption on this day.

“We hope people will shut their lights off during the day and that the hallway lights in buildings will be off also,” said Shumate. “Last year, the university shut off the heat and some of the gas boilers which really helped decrease the school’s energy consumption for the day.”

Along with conserving energy on Friday, Bulszewicz said other activities will take place.

“We’ll be doing tie dying on the Hickey Lawn from 1:30 to 3:30, too,” said Bulszewicz. “It’s a free event, but if you don’t have a shirt, you can buy one of our Tread Lightly shirts to tie dye.”

Bulszewicz also said that recycling will be promoted throughout the week when club members hand out information in the Hickey Dining Hall.

“The campus only recycles 12 percent of their total waste output,” said Bulszewicz. “Our goal is to reach 20 percent by the end of the year. Tread Lightly is working to pursue a compost pile project with the Land Use Committee to increase the university’s recycling efforts.”

Although Sustainability Week will eventually end on Friday, Shumate and Bulszewicz hope students and faculty alike learn that little steps can be taken each day to help the environment.

“Shutting off lights, riding your bike to class while the weather is still nice and recycling are a few simple ways for you to make a difference every day,” said Bulszewicz. “We want to change the culture at St. Bona’s to make sustainable practices part of our lifestyles, and every little thing counts.”

The rain location for tie dying on Friday, Oct. 19 is the Thomas Merton Center. If students would like to get involved with Tread Lightly, please come to one of the group’s meetings on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. in the Thomas Merton Center.           

Treads ‘strongly’

[About 10,000 students came together at Washington D.C. for PowerShift 2011 – Photo courtesy of Jose Rodriguez and EnergyActionCoalition]

Tread Lightly, the university’s sustainability club, became reinvigorated after PowerShift 2011 to spread its message at St. Bonaventure 

By Lauren Caputi, contributing writer

WASHINGTON (May 23) – In a sea of about 5,000 students in green hardhats, with protest signs and puppets in hand, St. Bonaventure University senior Lauryn Klingler joined in a march down Pennsylvania Avenue to promote clean energy. 

At PowerShift 2011, chants such as “Frack no, we won’t go” reverberated through the air as students marched from the United States Chamber of Commerce to British Petroleum headquarters to coal plant Gen On’s headquarters to Lafayette Square. 

“I’m part of something really big here,” said Klingler, a political science major. “There’s nothing quite like it.”

Ten-thousand college students from across the country joined together in a convention center in Washington, D.C. for one purpose: rallying for a cleaner, more environmentally friendly earth. 

Klinger said with clean energy at the beginning, the weekend delved into topics like climate change, fossil fuels, natural disasters and hydrofracking.

In addition to Klingler, three other members of Tread Lightly, St. Bonaventure’s sustainability club, attended PowerShift: juniors Greg Hoyos and Sinead Coleman and freshman Kyle Wilkinson. 

“Rallying made me feel so small because of the crowd, but so large because we were all there for the same underlying cause. It was almost like a religious experience,” said Wilkinson, an environmental science major. 

Hoyos, a business major from Hornell, joined the club because he has always enjoyed the outdoors, whether hiking, hunting, camping or fishing. 

While at PowerShift, Hoyos said he wanted to address the way New York handles hydrofracking, or hydraulic fracturing.

Josh Fox, a keynote speaker at PowerShift, made a movie titled “Gasland,” which has been shown at St. Bonaventure to raise environmental awareness, said Sr. Suzanne Kush, director of the Franciscan Center for Social Concern. 

As the faculty adviser of Tread Lightly, Kush said more students should pay respect to the earth because doing so upholds St. Bonaventure’s Franciscan tradition.  

According to Fox’s website,, “Horizontal hydrofracking is a means of tapping shale deposits containing natural gas that were previously inaccessible by conventional drilling.”

According to Gene Racz of, fracking has been used extensively is western Pennsylvania, where it has opened up the previously inaccessible Marcellus Shale underground rock formation.

Hoyos said he has become so passionate about hydrofracking because the moratorium, or waiting period, to delay fracking in New York. The moratorium issued by Gov. David Paterson expires July 3.   

Hoyos said if fracking begins in New York, it would be a serious threat to the state’s fresh water supply. Hydrofracking fluid contaminates the fresh water, making it unusuable and toxic. 

Tread Lightly, which Coleman started herself as a recycling club, has expanded into encompassing a whole lifestyle focused on sustainability. 

By enforcing the ideals of recycling and using less energy, Tread Lightly has made a difference on campus, said Coleman, a biology major. 

Coleman said she turned campus from a place that had very little to no recycling habits into a regularly recycling hub by establishing proper signage around academic buildings and residence halls.

By learning how to communicate more effectively at PowerShift, Coleman and the others said they took away ideas to inspire Bonaventure students. 

Coleman said by communicating more openly with faculty, students can influence their curriculum.

“No one’s heard of a sustainability minor because no one talks about it,” Coleman said.

After having attended PowerShift, Coleman plans to revamp and restructure Tread Lightly. 

“We want to increase our numbers and PowerShift opened our eyes to making Bona’s a more eco-friendly place,” Wilkinson said.