Each spring, the university hosts UGA Earth Week to encourage sustainable living. The weeklong celebration centers on the national Earth Day observance on April 22.
From April 20-24, the UGA Office of Sustainability, Students for Environmental Action and other campus and community organizations will host events highlighting opportunities ranging from alternative transportation and local food to water resource preservation and career insights from industry leaders.
UGA Earth Week is held in conjunction with Athens-Clarke County GreenFest, a community-wide event that provides citizens with the opportunity to increase their awareness of and interest in improving the environment of their homes, yards, businesses and communities.
Earth Week will kick off April 20 with a food truck and farmers market festival in the Tate Student Center Plaza from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to local food vendors, this event will feature local and student-led organizations promoting sustainability initiatives and hands-on learning activities, bike repairs and food made in Athens. Earth Day T-shirts will be made on-site; bring a lightly colored T-shirt to participate. Partnering organizations include UGA Food Services and the Athens Farmers Market.
Later that day, the Campus Bike Co-op, a student-led group, will lead a bike ride around Athens to promote alternative transportation. The ride will start at 6 p.m. at Myers quadrangle. At 7 p.m., the Athens Science Café will feature Marshall Shepherd, who will discuss “Zombies, Sports and Cola: What Does it Mean for Communicating Weather and Climate?” at The Foundry (previously the Melting Point at Graduate Athens). A UGA Athletic Association Distinguished Professor, Shepherd is director of the Atmospheric Sciences Program in the geography department and host of the Weather Channel’s WXGeeks.
On April 21, the ACC Stormwater Office will conduct a hands-on workshop from 11 a.m. to noon in Room 140 of the Tate Student Center. The workshop will teach participants how to better communicate science through a case study involving pet waste and water pollution.
From 3:30-5 p.m. in the Larry Walker Room of Dean Rusk Hall, the Inspiring Careers in Sustainability Panel will feature industry leaders from Coca-Cola, Cox Enterprises, Southface and Georgia Power. At 4 p.m., the Odum School of Ecology will host the 30th annual 2015 Odum Lecture, which will be delivered by ecologist Nancy Grimm at 4 p.m. in the ecology auditorium. A professor of ecology at Arizona State University, Grimm studies how climate change and human activities affect ecological processes in aquatic and urban ecosystems.
Evening activities begin at 6:30 p.m. Peace by Piece UGA is hosting a panel discussion focused on “Sustainability in Religion and Philosophy” in Room 148 of the Miller Learning Center. This panel will delve into topics such as environmental stewardship and responsibility and how different religions view the environment.
The panel discussion will be followed by Yoga Under the Stars at 8 p.m. on Myers quadrangle. Led by Cal Clements from Rubber Soul Yoga, the event is free, but participants should bring a towel or yoga mat.
On national Earth Day, April 22, a Chew Crew cleanup day will be held from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at Tanyard Creek. Volunteers are asked to meet outside the Hull Street parking deck near Tanyard Creek to help remove trash and invasive species and conduct general site maintenance.
The SXSM (South by South Milledge) Sustainable Spring Concert and no-waste dinner will be held from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in the UGArden, located just past the State Botanical Garden on South Milledge Avenue. Participating bands include the Ecotones and New Nature, Zale and Wieuca. Participants are asked to bring a homemade dish to share.
At 7 p.m., The Georgia Review will host award-winning writer and environmental activist Gary Ferguson as the speaker for its annual Earth Day program (see story, pages 4&5). The event will be held in the Day Chapel at the State Botanical Garden.
On April 23, Recycling Happy Hour will be held from 5-7 p.m. in parking lot E01 of the UGA intramural fields. This drive-through electronics recycling event is sponsored by the Athens-Clarke County Recycling Division, WUGA, Coca-Cola, UGA Parking Services and the Office of Sustainability. Bring electronics such as TVs, computers, phones and cables, batteries, light bulbs and cooking grease to the intramural fields and receive a free beverage in return.
At 7 p.m., The Wisdom to Survive will be screened in Room 137 of the Tate Student Center.
UGA Earth Week will conclude April 24 with the annual Middle Oconee River Kayaking and Cleanup. It will be held from 2-5 p.m. at Big Dogs on the River, which is located at 2525 Atlanta Highway. Participants will join Big Dogs on the River, UOWN, Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful, the Georgia River Network, UGA Outdoor Recreation and the Office of Sustainability to paddle and clean up the riverbanks of the Middle Oconee River.