April 16, 2009
Vol. 28 No. 14

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    Sustainability takes center stage on campus with a week of activities geared toward action

    The Office of Sustainability will welcome visitors to its Green Fest booth between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Friday, April 24, as staff members promote Sustainable Actions for a Greener Environment. SAGE is intended to reflect the dual dimensions of the University’s philosophy about environmental awareness—green and smart. The Sustainability staff invite everyone to share their SAGE ideas.

    The University will celebrate Earth Day—Wednesday, April 22—with free weeklong activities starting with the University Community Service Center’s Spring Day of Service (http://ucsc.uchicago.edu/pages/dayofservice.html) on Saturday, April 18 and culminating with a Green Fest on Friday, April 24 on the Main Quadrangle.

    Photos by Yvette Dostatni

    Rebecca Rothschild, fourth-year in the College

    Last fall, the Civic Knowledge Project sponsored a Tree-In in Jackson Park, where students and members of the community gathered to learn about the growth and life cycles of trees, as well as the stress and damage they can attract through storms and disease-carrying insects. The Civic Knowledge Project will sponsor another Tree-In event on the Main Quad during Earth Week 2009.

    The week of activities is designed to raise awareness of environmental issues, spur dialogue and inspire action. Workshops during the week will range from growing cooking herbs to learning how to compost with worms. Keynote lectures by visiting speakers also are planned.

    Guest speakers scheduled to lecture during Earth Week are Sadhu Johnston, the City of Chicago’s chief environmental officer, who will present the city’s Climate Action Plan (http://www.chicagoclimateaction.org/); activist Vandana Shiva (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KfvYjZ5fyw), a laureate of Sweden’s Right Livelihood Award and author of Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace; and local urban planner Doug Farr of Farr Associates (http://www.farrside.com/book/), who will speak about developing sustainable urbanism and constructing green (LEED-certified) buildings.

    The University Medical Center will screen An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore’s documentary film, every hour on the hour between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22. The center also will offer “Green Your Office” workshops throughout the day. For more information about the workshops and other Medical Center events, as well as the center’s sustainability efforts, visit: http://sustainability.uchicago.edu/medicalCenter.html.

    For a complete list of sustainability related events during the month of April, see: http://event.uchicago.edu/sustainability.

    Earth Week activities are a collaborative effort of the Office of Sustainability, the Sustainability Council, the University Medical Center, the University Community Service Center, Green Campus Initiative, the Program on the Global Environment, the College, the Civic Knowledge Project and several student organizations.