Earth Claire kicks off green week for UW-Eau Claire students

Earth Claire puts sustainability up for discussion as Earth Day approaches

Earth+Claire+offered+students+different+discussion+opportunities%2C+merchandise+and+free+food+as+sustainability+was+put+into+question.

Photo by Cade Fisher

Earth Claire offered students different discussion opportunities, merchandise and free food as sustainability was put into question.

To start off Green Week, the Student Office of Sustainability, or SOS, put on Earth Claire. From 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on April 18 in the Dakota Ballroom in Davies Student Center, Earth Claire acted as a festival for sustainability. 

Earth Claire, according to the UW-Eau Claire events page, is a festival type event that brings organizations from on campus and in the community. The event offered games, food, giveaways and discussions of sustainability.

Leah Woodward, the events intern for the executive board of SOS, has been the lead person at SOS planning Earth Claire. 

They said that the communications with the attending organizations creates opportunities for students to learn about the sustainability efforts in the community.

“It’s really important for people to learn about what their local community is doing in the fight to protect the environment and against climate change,” Woodward said.

Due to the weather, Earth Claire had to be moved from the campus mall. The event was moved into the Dakota Ballroom in Davies Student Center.

This annual event was brought to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There was one attempt to make a virtual rendition of the event, but this year’s event was the first in person Earth Claire since 2019.

Evelyn Nelson, the media intern on the executive board of SOS, said that one of the main reasons Earth Claire is an event is because it allows for the opportunity for people to talk about sustainability.

“A celebration of students coming together and making a difference in our community related to the climate crisis,” Nelson said.

Earth Claire brought over a dozen organizations to the event. The on-campus organizations included SOS, the conservation club, geography and anthropology club, the campus closet, Mcintyre Library and members of the administrative office of sustainability.

Some of the off campus organizations that attended the event, according to their promotional flyers, included the Beaver Creek Reserve, a few food Co-ops, New Citizens Climate Lobby and the Eau Claire transit commission.

Maddie Loeffler, the director of the executive board at SOS, said that the goal of bringing together all of the organizations was to facilitate collaboration between different sustainability focused groups.

“Every organization has a table and they can choose what they want to do with that table,” Loeffler said.

Earth Claire brought these on campus and community organizations together to foster conversations as Loeffler said. A gathering of organizations all focused on making Eau Claire more sustainable.

“It really facilitates collaboration across all of these groups. Usually our work is relatively separated unless we intentionally choose to collaborate,” Loeffler said.

According to the UW-Eau Claire Green Week event page, Earth Claire kicks off a week focused on promoting sustainability. The goal is to put Eau Claire students focused on the environment with Earth Day falling in this week.

Numerous events started this week including the Soles4Souls Shoe Drive, campus closet gently used clothing collection and Beaver Creek Earth Week Challenge to name a few.

“We pride ourselves in being a school that talks about equity, diversity, inclusion and we talk about LGBTQ issues and issues involving social justice, but sustainability is often not one really mentioned on our campus,” Nelson said.

Fisher can be reached at [email protected]