Earth Month kicks off at UW-Eau Claire

Sustainability events planned all month long

Cade Fisher

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Photo by Cade Fisher

The Student Sustainability Resource Center is open to all students as a lounge space. The center has chairs, a microwave, tea and a sustainability based library.

April 22 is Earth Day, a day dedicated to celebrating the planet and demonstrating protective measures to keep the planet safe. 

Throughout the month of April, the sustainability department will be hosting events to get students involved on-campus and learn environmental and sustainable tips. 

Sydney McGuine, a third-year environmental public health student and Student Office of Sustainability senate director, said the SOS has been working on sustainable events and resources all year.

“We get student segregated fees that go towards The Green Fund and then we use that to spend on initiatives relating to sustainability and also benefiting students,” McGuine said.

Hazel Woodward, a fourth-year English student and SOS student director, said the office allocates funds to all kinds of initiatives. They just bought sustainable menstrual products that students can get for free from the Student Sustainability Resource Center.

“The solar panels on top of Davies, that was something we did in the past,” Woodward said. “Also the Student Sustainability Resource Center was funded by student segregated fees.”

Events are planned for the month of April, with a multitude of events planned for Green Week, according to the Sustainability department.

According to the UW-Eau Claire website, a competition between the residence halls on upper campus will be occurring all month called Caught Green Handed. The competition will determine which hall is the most sustainable.

Throughout the month, students can earn points for their residence hall by engaging in eco-friendly activities and attending sustainability events in their halls or on Lower Campus.

According to the Green Week events page, during the week of April 18, faculty, students and staff are encouraged to find green ways to get to campus. Walking, biking or rolling on any non-motorized wheels are encouraged.

From April 24-28, the Earth Week Sustainable Challenge kicks off. The Administrative Office of Sustainability will use the Goose Chase app for students to take pictures of them completing tasks. Some of these tasks include a question and answer session and sustainability events.

Students can use the code BD7GKB on the app to connect to the hunt. The app requires students to include their first and last name for the leaderboard and to award the prize to the winner.

At the same time as the Sustainable Challenge, the Makerspace in the basement of McIntyre Library will be hosting repurposing and eco-friendly craft making from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, according to the events page.

Also starting on April 24 is the Soles4Souls shoe drive. Faculty, students and staff can donate any new or used shoes on the first floor of McIntyre Library where the shoes will be either given to people or repurposed as a job opportunity.

According to the events page, on Thursday, April 20 there will be an employment and career path panel from UW-Eau Claire alumni. From 4 to 6:15 p.m. in room 1619 of Centennial Hall. Lily Strehlow, a sustainability specialist, will be joined by two other alumni to share a deeper look at the economics field.

On the same day, the Barron County campus will be starting their first sustainability training with a Sustainability Module Trial, holding a reusable bag giveaway and David Caithamer will be holding a lecture on the prairie plants around the Barron County campus.

According to the events page, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 24 Earth Claire will be held in the campus mall, a tabling event that invites environmental organizations from on campus and the community. The event will have games, pizza, music, giveaways and demonstrations. The rain location for the event is in the Dakota Ballroom.

“A bunch of organizations from all over Eau Claire and around the state come and have a table,” Woodward said. “They’re there to just talk about their organization, volunteer opportunities, job opportunities and just talk about sustainability and the environment in Wisconsin.”

Also on April 24, UW-Eau Claire will start the same sustainability training as the Barron County Campus, the Campus Closet will be holding a clothing drive at Earth Claire and the UW-Eau Claire Grounds Department will be hosting a campus clean up with supplies given out at their booth at Earth Claire.

According to the Pablo Center’s website, at 2 p.m. on April 23 there will be a showing of the Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour. These films will show action scenes of mountain climbers on mountains all around the world.

From 12 to 1 p.m. on April 26, there will be a sustainability presentation in relation to the Sonnentag Events Center. Rebecca Rice from Greenwood Group, Vice Chancellor Grace Crickette and student experts from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design will be presenting at the panel.

“It’s just important to get the word out about sustainability because it affects everyone, no matter what your major is or what you want to do,” Mcguine said. “It’s a good chance to give people information they might otherwise not receive within whatever major they are pursuing.”

For more information, students can stop at the Student Sustainability Resource Center on the first floor of Davies Student Center. The center acts as a lounge for students and has information on the Student Office of Sustainability and general sustainability projects going on at UW-Eau Claire. 

Fisher can be reached at [email protected].