Illustration by Clare Conteh-Morgan.
As the April 22 celebration of Earth Day approaches, student organizations at Lawrence will be hosting a series of events during the Earth Weekend from April 22 to April 24. The events aim to address the rising issue of climate change and contribute towards a healthy and sustainable lifestyle within the Lawrence community.
Among the series of Earth Weekend events is an in-person screening of the documentary “I Am Greta” by Greenfire and Lawrence University Disability Working Group (LUDWiG) on April 23 at 8 p.m. in the Warch Cinema. On April 24, the Lawrence University Environmental Organization (LUEO) will host a “Campus Clean Up,” which will gather participants in three separate groups to pick up the garbage at different places around campus from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Students, faculty and staff can view information on these events and a variety of other Earth Weeks on the Lawrence website, according to Grace Subat, the Sustainability and Special Projects Fellow.
One of Earth Weekend’s main events is an “Earth Hour,” organized by junior Amber Gu in collaboration with Greenfire and the Sustainability Steering Committee. It will be held on April 22 from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. For this hour, all the nonessential lights — except for some lights in the Warch Campus Center and resident hallways and restrooms — will be turned off around campus, according to junior Sierra Johnson, the Co-Chair of Greenfire.
Johnson encourages students to turn off the lights in their dormitories, come together on Main Hall Green to stargaze, share their environment stories and learn about astronomy with Professor Megan Pickett, Associate Professor of Physics. To substitute for the traditional lighting sources, Greenfire will be providing glowsticks to students and placing electric candles by Main Hall in the shape of number 60, which represents the 60 minutes within an hour, Gu said.
According to Gu, the Sustainability Steering Committee will be assisting her with running this event through financial support, situating the lights in different buildings and designing posters.
Gu is also planning to lead a competition among residential halls to encourage student engagement with this event. Students can send pictures of themselves with the poster to her email, turn the lights off in their dorm and come to the Main Hall Green to participate, Gu said. The resident hall with the most participation will receive rewards such as gift cards, reusable straws, recycled bags and key chains.
Gu stressed her intention to raise awareness about both climate change and reducing carbon emissions in hopes of preserving the global environment.
“We are living in the environment; we have responsibilities to protect and cherish it, not destroy,” Gu said. “Most important, I hope Earth Hour can be an LU tradition in the following year.”
As “Earth Hour” and other Earth Weekend events are approaching, Subat encourages the student body to participate in as many events as they would like to.
“There are many people and groups on campus who want to educate people about environmental concerns and take active roles in helping the environment,” Subat said. “It is really about coming together as a campus and doing what you can do for the Earth.”
See the full schedule of Earth Week events here.