Starting on Tuesday, the University of Georgia Office of Sustainability and Students for Environmental Action will host Earth Week, which will include a variety of events that bring together campus and local groups to promote sustainability.
“Each day represents something different in the way that we want to influence the community, sustainability-wise,” said Kim Reeves, an intern in the Office of Sustainability.
The Earth Day Fair, the week’s kick-off event, will take place on UGA’s 44th celebration of Earth Day.
“We have invited all of the local organizations within the community, but also different student organizations on campus who are involved in sustainable initiatives to come out, table and promote and show what they’ve been doing to create a more sustainable UGA,” Reeves said.
On Wednesday, students will be able to attend a career-oriented panel, which will feature Athens-based industry leaders in sustainability.
“This year’s it’s special because we decided to invite local sustainable businesses and individuals who represent non-profit organizations, so they inspire students to go outside the doors of UGA and find out what goes on for the UGA community,” said Jennifer Dunlop, who is also an intern in the Office of Sustainability.
A “green” mini film festival will be hosted on Wednesday as well.
“We’re collaborating with the Eco-Focus Film Festival that was hosted just a month ago, and we’re going to be having a short film festival at Tate Theater,” Reeves said. “We have a lot of mini-films that people can come in and watch that should be inspiring.”
Later events in the week include a drive-thru electronics recycling opportunity, as well a “Green” Day of Service. The Chew Crew will also be making appearances throughout the week.
A complete list of the Earth Week events can be seen here.
“We’ve peppered the Earth Week with events that represent what we do in the of [Office of Sustainability] all year long,” Dunlop said.
Dunlop said Earth Week will not only raise awareness, but also bring the campus community together.
“The one thing we try to accomplish certainly in the [Office of Sustainability] is public awareness of sustainability, both at the university and in people’s lives,” Dunlop said. “But we also have the opportunity to tie that in with all of the things that are going on with every office and every organization.”
Dunlop said it is clear that the students at UGA care about the issues being promoted during Earth Week by the interest seen in collaborating with the Office of Sustainability for the event.
“The number of student groups that come into our office asking to collaborate, and then also the number of groups that want to host of events or want to be part of Earth Week are just telling that the student population on our campus are really interested,” Dunlop said.
One billion people celebrate Earth Day globally, and Landon Bubb, the president of Students for Environmental Action, said the purpose of Earth Week at UGA is to continue the tradition of celebrating the Earth.
“The first Earth Day was the year after we went to the moon, which was one of the first times that we saw the Earth as just this little ball hovering in space,” said the senior anthropology major from Lilburn. “So, after that, the [Environmental Protection Agency] was started the next year and the first Earth Day. It’s a celebration of viewing the Earth as a borderless thing where we’re all connected and we all share this home.”