Campus News

UGA Earth Week 2011 provides opportunities for education and engagement

Athens, Ga. – The ultimate test of man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.-Gaylord Nelson, former governor of Wisconsin, founder of Earth Day

April 22ndmarks the 41stEarth Day celebration at UGA. Building upon the groundswell of environmental action during the first Earth Day in 1970, students at UGA continue to seek and promote a more sustainable future through daily and ongoing engagement. To commemorate the occasion, Students for Environmental Action, in collaboration with the Go Green Alliance, the UGA Office of Sustainability and othersare hosting Earth Week 2011, April 18 – 22.

“Earth Week 2011 includes themed events designed to promote stewardship of natural resources and sustainable living practices, with daily activities ranging from educational films and lectures to hands-on opportunities for enhancing the quality of life in our community,” said Kevin Kirsche, director of the UGA Office of Sustainability.

Themed activities include:

Monday – Conservation Day
Features sheep herding for invasive plant removal and a screening of the film “Tapped,” which focuses on water conservation.

To learn more about the environmental benefits of using animals for the removal of invasive plants and to engage in hands-on action to help eliminate privet on UGA’s east campus, interested participants are invited to meet at River Road behind the Lamar Dodd School of Art building from 3 to 5 p.m.

At 7 p.m. the focus will turn to water resource conservation with a screening of the film “Tapped” in the multi-purpose room of residence hall Building 1516.

Tuesday – Consumption Day
Features a waste audit of the Miller Learning Center and a no-waste dinner and panel discussion on “Food, the Environment and You.”

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., a waste audit of receptacles from the Miller Learning Center will take place on the Tate lawn. The audit will help raise awareness of how individuals manage the waste they generate and evaluate the effectiveness of a new waste reduction pilot program installed in the building.

At 6 p.m. in room 348 of the Miller Learning Center, Students for Environmental Action and others will enjoy a no-waste dinner, featuring local and sustainable foods, followed by a discussion of the environmental, social and economic impacts of our food choices.

Wednesday – Healthy Action Day
Features car-free commuting and exhibits at the Tate Plaza in collaboration with the University Health Center.

Members of the UGA community are encouraged to commute to campus car-free.

From 10 a.m. to – 2 p.m. on Tate Plaza, a Healthy Action Fair will feature campus departments and student organizations hosting informational booths that promote sustainability action and healthy living practices.

Thursday – Energy Day
Features tours of UGA’s central steam plant, an environmental short film, and an evening “light raid” to turn off lights left on unnecessarily in campus buildings.

At 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., the UGA Physical Plant, in association with Engineers Without Borders and UGA Beyond Coal, will lead tours of the Central Steam Plant, located behind the Boyd Graduate Studies building.

At 7 p.m. in MLC room 214, Students for Environmental Action will host an environmental short film screening, followed by a “light raid” to turn off lights left on unnecessarily in campus buildings.

At 8:30 p.m. starting at Tate Plaza, students from UGA Beyond Coal will be leading an evening tour discussing the social and environmental concerns of using coal as a fuel source.

Friday – Earth Day
The week-long celebration culminates with the 2011 Sustainable UGA Earth Day Lecture.

Justin Gillis, a UGA alumnus and reporter for The New York Times, will present Writing in a Hothouse: The Journalism of Climate Change, at 12:30 p.m. in the UGA Chapel.

“Through Earth Week 2011 and the daily actions of engaged students, faculty and staff, UGA continues to enhance stewardship of natural resources and advance sustainability initiatives to create a model for healthy living on campus and beyond,” said Kirsche. “Our campuses increasingly serve as living laboratories in which sustainability is researched, taught, practiced and constantly refined.”

For more information regarding sustainability initiatives at UGA, see the UGA Office of Sustainability.