Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia is gearing up for Earth Week 2012, a weeklong celebration filled with events and activities aimed at providing tips for sustainable living and opportunities to enhance the quality of life in the UGA and Athens communities.
The overall theme of Earth Week 2012 is “Watch Your Step!” Each day will feature a different area of focus with multiple opportunities for students, faculty, staff and community members to get involved.
April 16 – Nature Day
• Town Spring Restoration Planting: 3:30-5 p.m. The Office of Sustainability, Physical Plant Grounds Department and Students for Environmental Action will host a cleanup at Town Spring, a stream located on Spring Street. Volunteers will pick up trash, pull invasive plant species and plant sunflowers around the site. They also will have the chance to learn about the important historical significance of the spring, which served as Athens’ primary water source in the 1800s. Volunteers may meet on site or at 3:20 p.m. at the North Campus parking deck to walk to the spring.
• Leave No Trace Bonfire: 8-10 p.m. Students for Environmental Action; the Natural Resources, Recreation and Tourism Society; and the Office of Sustainability will host a bonfire at the Lake Herrick chimney, where participants will learn about leave-no-trace camping while enjoying s’mores and live music. Participants will meet at the intramural fields tennis courts and walk to the chimney together.
April 17 – Local Food Day
• Local Food Day Fair: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Local Food Day will be held on Brooks Mall on South Campus near Hardman Hall and will include samples, cooking demonstrations, farm animal exhibits and UGA research posters on sustainable food. Designed to create a culture of interest, excitement and academic discussion on the importance of investing in and sustaining local agriculture, the day is a collaboration between Real Food UGA, Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, UGA Cooperative Extension, Students for Environmental Action and the UGA Office of Sustainability.
• No Waste Dinner: 6-8 p.m. Students for Environmental Action and the Office of Sustainability invite university members to bring their own plate, fork and cup to the third annual No Waste Dinner in the Miller Learning Center. Tickets are $2, and guests will dine on food donated by local businesses. Sara Novak, a blogger for Treehugger.com and a UGA alumna, will talk on sustainable agriculture and food production. Space is limited.
April 18 – Transportation Day
• Clean Commuter Check In: 7:30-10:30 a.m. The check in will be held on the Memorial Hall Plaza where coffee, breakfast snacks, alternative transportation resources, prizes and free bike tune-ups will be available. The Office of Sustainability and Students for Environmental Action encourage university members to take alternative transportation to school and work that day.
April 19 – Energy Day
• Recycling Happy Hour: 5-7 p.m. Hard-to-recycle items will be accepted at the intramural fields parking lot (EO1). Sponsored by Athens Clarke County Recycling, WUGA, Coca-Cola, UGA Parking Services and the Office of Sustainability, items include all electronics (TVs, computers, phones, cables), batteries, light bulbs, Styrofoam items and spent cooking grease. The event is free and open to the public.
• University Cooperative Energy Forum: 7-9 p.m. UGA Beyond Coal, Students for Environmental Action and the Go Green Alliance will host a forum in the Chapel to discuss UGA’s energy future and develop a model for a university energy action team.
April 20 – Earth Day of Action
• Earth Day Tabling Fair: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. University and Athens-based environmental organizations and government agencies will give out information and prizes and host activities in the Tate Student Center Plaza on ways to increase sustainability throughout Athens.
• Greenfest Awards Ceremony: 5:30 p.m. The reception and awards ceremony will recognize individuals, organizations and businesses that have made a positive impact on Athens-Clarke County’s environment during the past year. The ceremony will be held in the Odum School of Ecology auditorium.
April 21 – Green Day of Service
• Community and School Gardening Projects: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. or 12:30-4:30 p.m. Hosted by Greenfest, this year the green day of service will focus on community and school gardens with projects at eight local schools, three community gardens and a compost bin building site. Schools involved are Cleveland Road, Fowler, Winterville and Whit Davis elementary schools, Burney Harris Lyons and Clarke middle schools, Cedar Shoals and Monsignor Donovan Catholic high schools. Volunteers of all ages are welcome, and volunteers between the ages of 5-25 can dedicate hours toward Global Youth Service Day. To register as a volunteer, see www.greenfest.com and choose one of the school projects or community garden sites.
• Prep Work for the Community and School Gardening Projects: In preparation for the gardening projects events, volunteers will build raised beds at the UGArden on April 15 or April 18 starting at 1 p.m.
April 22 – ATHICA Upcycle Exhibit and “Trashion” Show
• “Trashion” Show: 4:30 p.m. The fashion event and competition, which will be held in Chase Park, is open to all members of the Athens community and will serve as the final celebration of the UGA Sorority Green Cup, a competition between UGA sororities to see which chapter can reduce the most water, energy and waste over the span of a month. For entry into the fashion competition, upcycled outfits must be designed from hard-to-recycle materials. The winning design will receive a cash prize. To register, email email@example.com by April 15.
For more information about Earth Week 2012 and other events and initiatives sponsored by the Office of Sustainability, see www.sustainability.uga.edu.