Earth week events encourage recycling, educate on sustainability

Students celebrated the beginning of Earth Week with a carnival on the quad (Photo by Courtney DeVita ’19).

A week of ecological events will cap off with Earth Day tomorrow, but Lafayette’s celebration of sustainability will culminate with a cleanup of Bushkill Creek at Lafapalooza, Lafayette’s annual spring day of service on Saturday, April 29.

It all began earlier this week with a carnival on the Quad followed by a visit by renowned ecologist George Woodwell, author of the book “Visions of a Plundered Planet” and one of the earliest scientists to warn about climate change.

Other events included “Project Runway: Earth Day Edition,” in which teams of students competed for a $125 gift certificate to Easton restaurants by creating outfits out of completely recyclable materials. There was also a recycled paper-making workshop, where students could blend their schoolwork into a pulp.

On Wednesday, Marquis Dining Hall hosted the event “LaFarm to Table,” in which students could come and learn about LaFarm as well as hear about volunteering, according to Sustainability Director Marie Fechik-Kirk. Students enjoyed a locally-sourced dinner and participated in activities ranging from potato cutting, garlic peeling, composting and more. The event was co-hosted by Bon Appétit, ECOreps and the Lafayette Food and Farm Cooperative (LaFFCo).

Still to come is yoga on the Quad at 1 p.m. Friday and a presentation of infographic posters from Civil Engineering students. The students were charged with “Envisioning a Sustainable World.” The 25 posters will be displayed around the Quad for a public vote to choose a winner.

Fechik-Kirk explained the purpose of this year’s Earth Week.

“What we’re trying to do with Earth Week this year is we’re trying to make it so that it’s fun and it involves a whole wide swath of campus, so that way we have things that are engaging and fun and interesting,” Fechik-Kirk said.

The template for this year’s Earth Week and for future years was created by students in an environmental studies capstone course in the fall of 2015. Sustainability Fellow Miranda Wilcha was a student in this class and helped create the module for a better Earth Week.

“Earth week has historically had a lot of overlap and there was a lot of running around at the last minute, it could be very busy and stressful so I think the template from the capstone was designed as a way to say:  ‘Here, this module is going to take these couple of big picture events that everyone will come to and help out with but it will take the pressure of planning off,’” Wilcha said.

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