The compost-saving, bike-riding, environmentally conscious UW community loves its Earth Day, and is celebrating in style — and service — over three days this year.
Earth Day is Friday, April 22, and there will be speakers, music, exhibitors, the announcement of the annual Husky Green Award and more from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Red Square at the Seattle campus.
But there are activities the days before and after as well. UW Bothell will have a full day and evening packed with Earth Day events on Thursday, April 21. There will be a wetland restoration work party, a recycling display, speakers and booths, electric and hybrid cars on view, and a movie. Oh, and heres something to ruminate over: There will be goats.
Also on that day, UW Seattle will hold the first Campus Cleanup Challenge, where competing teams will have two hours to find the most garbage and recyclables on campus, and prizes will be awarded.
The Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability office and the student groups SEED (Students Expressing Environmental Dedication) and Earth Club are presenting the Red Square events on Friday, April 22 together with the Campus Sustainability Fund. Exhibitors start up at 11 a.m. and music cranks up a half hour later. Playing will be world groove band Unite One and indie-folk artist Andrew Vait.
Vella Warren, UW senior vice president and treasurer of the Board of Regents, will give opening remarks about noon. The keynote speaker will be Carol Pease of The Climate Project. Winners of the Campus Cleanup also will be named. Then at 12:30 p.m. will come the announcement of the annual Husky Green Award. And the music — all solar-powered, by the way — will resume at 1 p.m.
The UW also is competing in an international competition called A Billion Acts of Green, where students, faculty and staff make official a pledge to do a single act that, if replicated, can make a difference globally. You can share your Act of Green online.
“Were really excited about this years Earth Day Celebration, and it couldnt have happened without student energy and creativity,” said Ruth Johnston, UW associate vice president and head of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability. “This is a day were all looking forward to, to celebrate sustainability and recognize our peers and friends with the second annual Husky Green Awards. We hope everyone on campus will attend, to visit with green vendors and hear solar-powered music.”
Housing & Food Services is getting into the Earth Day act, too, with a special menu at the Eleven 01 Café and signs on trash bins reminding passers-by to compost, reducing the campus contributions to landfills.
UW Bothell, meanwhile, is rarely outdone when it comes to Earth Day. A long day of events has been planned by students representing UWB and its conjoined neighbor, Cascadia Community College. The schools share an emphasis on environmental studies and are located next to one of the regions most successful wetlands restoration projects.
From 9 a.m. to noon, volunteers will remove invasive species and add native veggies. Hybrid and electric cars will be on display from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and visitors will be invited to “pledge to make sustainable and environmentally friendly changes in their lives.”
Also from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Transportation and Commuter Services and many community organizations will staff booths and there will be a demonstration of UW Bothells new Energy Dashboard Display. Chancellor Kenyon Chan and student President Eric Murray will be among speakers between noon and 2 p.m. There will also be a display of garbage — that is, a demonstration of how much waste is sent to the landfill daily — along with advice on what can be recycled.
Oh and about those goats: Tammy Dunakin of Rent-a-Ruminant will be on hand with goats for petting — that is if they can take time from helpfully munching various Bothell brambles. The day will end with food, poetry and a showing of a movie about Americas huge oil appetite, Houston, We Have a Problem.
Student Maximilian Dixon organized the activities with Melissa Clark from Cascadia, and said he hopes visitors come away with a better understanding of what Earth Day is about and what the Bothell campus is doing for sustainability. “More importantly though, I want to inspire students and visitors to volunteer and get involved not only on this campus, but in their communities,” Dixon wrote in an email.
The spirit of Earth Day will continue on Saturday, April 23, for a day of projects benefiting the Washington Park Arboretum. Volunteers will join the U
W Botanic Gardens, Seattle Parks and Recreation and the UWs Student Conservation Association for the day, which begins with a kickoff rally at 9:30 am. You can register online.
EarthCorps, a nonprofit organization founded in 1993 and dedicated to building community through local environmental service, has virtually unending volunteer opportunities — April 23 among them. On that day, theyll be doing habitat restoration at Golden Gardens, Yowkwala and Juanita Bay. See their whole calendar of projects online.
For EarthCorps and the Earth Network, its no cliché to say that Earth Day is every day. In many ways, its true of the UW campuses, too.
For your clicking pleasure, here are some links to learn more about Earth Day 2011:
- The complete UW Seattle schedule, which also lists the many exhibitors who will be on hand, from the UW and beyond.
- Seattle Earth Day events listed on Facebook.
- The UW Bothell Home Page, and a page about UWBs Earth Day events.
- Recycling and Solid Waste held its annual Trash-In – a snapshot of campus recycling and composting — on April 13.
- Heres the Earth Day Network, and its history of Earth Day.