Next Monday marks the beginning of the Environmental Policy and Planning Commission’s (EPPC) fifth annual Earth Week – a week dedicated to getting students actively involved in caring for their environment.
EPPC works directly with ASUCD, the city of Davis and local organizations to improve UC Davis’ sustainability. EPPC’s annual budget, which is allocated by ASUCD, is $3,100. Will Quinn, chair of EPPC, said the costs of Earth Week should be under $1,000.
Each event has its own theme and will aim to improve students’ awareness of how to lead more sustainable lives. EPPC and other groups will be on the quad from 12 to 1 p.m. on weekdays encouraging students to become more active in helping the earth.
“The main motivation for Earth Week is rational environmentalism. I think too often we are scared off by people who keep preaching, ‘Go extreme,'” Quinn said. “If we all made a little bit of a change in our lives and considered these things in our everyday routines rather than just ignoring them, we could really make a big difference in the world. That’s what Earth Week is about.”
This week EPPC will table at the quad, where students can donate clothes in exchange for a ticket that they can use at a clothing swap next Monday. There will also be a discussion panel held on that day at MU II from 12 to 2 p.m. The topic of the discussion panel, consisting of authors Jeffrey Mount, Peter Moyle and Richard Howitt all UC Davis professors will be the authors’ book, “Managing California’s Water: From Conflict to Reconciliation.”
Tuesday’s theme is “Sustainable Picnic Day,” which is all about organic food, conserving energy and the benefits of drinking tap water.
Events like those on Tuesday are opportunities for learning how to live within one’s means, said Danny Carlson, member of EPPC.
“[It’s about] not taking more than what can be offered and living within a sustainable fashion,” he said. “It’s teaching people that it’s more than just throwing a bottle in the recycling bin.”
On “Paint-A-Pot Wednesday,” students can paint pots and learn about the benefits of composting. The day is being made possible by multiple groups – students at the dining commons collected tins to use as pots, the Craft Center is offering art supplies and Project Compost will provide seeds and soil.
Thursday’s focus is on bikes and alternative fuel vehicles. Staff members from the Bike Barn will be on the quad to help students fix their bikes. An electric vehicle will be on display as well. Dorceta Taylor, author of “The Environment and the People in American Cities, 1600s-1900s: Disorder, Inequality and Social Change,” is also scheduled to appear at the MU from 4 to 6 p.m. at Griffin Lounge.
Friday, which is Earth Day, holds the week’s biggest events. Eco-friendly clubs and organizations will be out on the quad to raise students’ awareness of environmental issues. The Campus Center for the Environment (CCE), the Cool Davis Initiative and the California Student Sustainability Coalition are three major groups scheduled to be present. The Cool Davis Initiative works closely with the City of Davis to address issues such as climate change and lowering Davis’ carbon footprint and is working with EPPC to promote Earth Week.
Friday will also feature the Pound-for-Pound Challenge, a collaborative effort between EPPC, CCE, CalPIRG and community organizations. Students are encouraged to reduce the number of pounds of CO2 in their carbon footprint. In exchange, grocery stores will donate an equivalent number of pounds of food to The Pantry, said Will Klein, member of the CCE.
Tessa Artale, volunteer coordinator for CCE, is holding a Green Team kickoff meeting for anyone interested in becoming more involved in Earth Week on April 18 at MU 43 starting at 5 p.m.
“The goal of the volunteer team is to provide opportunities for students to get involved volunteering on campus and in the community, to promote environmental awareness and sustainable practices,” she said in an e-mail interview. “Our goal is to connect students with existing resources on campus and in the community, and to educate others about how to [affect] positive change.”
TRISHA PERKINS can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.