This Week Think Green

It’s time to bring out the green in you. Boston University (BU) may have just the right dose of treating you with green events to make you want to care for the planet. Earth Day 2011 is this Friday, April 22, but the university, in collaboration with various on-campus groups and environmental organizations, is planning a week-long celebration starting this Monday. From sustainable eating to good waste disposal practices and energy issues among nation-states, students and patrons can look forward to a host of events that highlight the various issues plaguing our planet.

The week kick-starts with ‘Make-a-Difference Monday’ today that will see campus chefs dish out food that is sustainable, organic and locally grown produce across dining halls at BU. The aim is to make the students aware of and appreciate the need to cut down energy consumption and carbon footprint, as well as to save animal species from reckless hunting. Already a part of many BU dining halls, the event will be ever more special for making a difference during Earth Week.

And for those who have questions about on-campus composting, student volunteers as part of the ‘Composting Come-out’ will be present in the dining halls on April 20, from 11.30 am to 1.30 pm, to answer their queries. “We ask the students to compost their waste in front of the dish belt instead of behind the scenes by our dishwashers.  Students volunteers help facilitate and we use it as an educational opportunity,” said Sabrina Harper, the sustainability coordinator at the BU Dining Services.

Stop by for the Sargent College Parfait Giveaway at the GSU Link, which will be promoting the health and environmental benefits of certain foods. And starting 7 pm, head for the screening of the thought-provoking documentary One Water, which explores the diverse ways in which water touches the human life and how our relationship with water has changed – rather turned exploitative. The location of the screening has not been posted till the time of this blog entry, but can be found Environmental Student Organization’s blog.

On April 21, the week’s two biggest Earth Day events will take place. First, a George Sherman University Plaza Celebrations will bring together green activists to educate people about ways to help the planet.

Beginning 11 am, witness a chowder cook-off organized by the Dining Services at BU, taste the healthy goodness of the award-winning cheese from the award-winning  Cabot Farm of Vermont, buy seasonal produce from the family-run farmstead Smaht Fahm, and sign up for the Community Support Agriculture program, in which Ward’s Berry Farm offers fresh-picked, seasonal fruits and vegetables in 20-pound boxes for $20.

What’s more, collection bins will be placed at the GSU Plaza to collect reusable stuff such as clothing and household items not just in the spirit of charity but also in a bid to divert tons waste from landfills. For brilliant ideas on how to make a room sustainable, a room made from 100% reusable items will be on display. For more information about the program, watch the video below:

Bring in corrosive items such as small electronics, Brita Filters, batteries, ink cartridges, and lightbulbs that cannot be reused and pollute the ecosystem (and seriously hurt if thrown away in the trash for the landfills) at the GSU, where the Recycling Cafe will collect them. The BU Dining Services will offer free coffee to those who bring in their reusable travel coffee mugs.

Further west down Commonwealth Avenue, the West Campus Block Party will offer book swaps, free samples and giveaways from local vendors, and a Red Cross disaster relief information booth.

Another special Earth Week event, the Sustainable Seafood Conference follows at 7pm on the second floor of the GSU.  The documentary “End of the Line” will be screened and a panel discussion about overfishing with four local experts (two scientists from the New England Aquarium, a BU professor in Marine Biology and the head of a fisherman’s organization in Gloucester) will follow.

On April 22, the sustainable bakery Bake n’ Joy is offering dessert sampling at the GSU link.

The Earth Week finishes off with the last seminar of the Sawyer series on Energy Transitions and Society, a semester-long series of seminars that discussed energy issues confronting states and sought long-term solutions. This Earth Day, four BU professors discuss the ‘Geographies of Energy’ at the Pardee House. The talk runs from 10 am-12.30 pm.

Check out last year’s Earth Day celebrations.

Here’s hoping this year’s events turn out bigger and better!


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