Office of Sustainability wraps up Earth Week 2013

    Several environmental groups on campus teamed up with Northwestern’s Office of Sustainability to celebrate Earth Week last week. The week of festivities began on April 22, which is celebrated as Earth Day worldwide, and ran through Sunday, April 28. It included guest speakers, tree planting and the return of a campus trash mountain.

    Northwestern’s Earth Week was organized through a collaboration between student environmental groups and the Office of Sustainability. The events expanded Earth Day, a holiday since 1970, into a week of campus celebration.

    “[Green Cup]’s much more quantitative,” said Medill junior Chelsea Corbin, co-chair of SEED, one of the main groups organizing the week’s events. “Earth Week, on the other hand, addresses several more issues in broader, more qualitative terms.”

    The schedule of events was chosen, according to Corbin, to “generate a broad discussion about the Earth and the role of humanity on it.”  This year, the events for the week were centered around a few primary themes: water, energy, waste, agriculture and transportation.

    This year’s Earth Week featured a screening of documentary The Island President, a Wild Roots garden work day, and the planting of new trees near Deering Meadow to celebrate Arbor Day.

    The week also included the return of the annual Mount Trashmore. Named after Evanston’s landfill park, volunteers stacked bags of trash Tuesday to create a mountain on campus symbolizing the amount of waste created on campus every six hours.

    This year’s mountain of trash continued its trend of shrinking as Northwestern improves its sustainable waste management. Earth Day celebrations also took place at other Chicago area universities, including DePaul, where the students were given free flash drives to discourage paper use, and Roosevelt University, which started a new rooftop garden on its vertical campus building.


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