The week of April 16th, The Office of Sustainability partnered with various other organizations around campus to celebrate Earth Week. Earth Week offered a variety of events, including Campus Garden and compost tours, and workshop and symposium featuring guest artist John Sabraw, and a day-long Earthfest celebration on April 20th, all surrounding the slogan, “Refuse the Straw.”
On Monday, the Office of Sustainability sold raffle tickets for a chance to win the dress “Halimeda,” which is Greek for “Thinking of the sea.” The dress was made for Earth Week’s Shades of Green/Sustainability at GCSU; and it was made primarily of repurposed plastics, shells, netting, fabric, and driftwood. The dress represents the outstanding pollution of the ocean with plastic and other trash and how that destroys aquatic life and ecosystems. Additionally, Monday through Wednesday, the Office of Sustainability offered tours of the Campus Garden and the compost sites. The composting initiative is relatively new to campus, and takes post-consumer food waste from the MAX and transforms it into usable compost, much of which goes to the Campus Garden. Mostly operated by the Gardening Club, the Campus Garden grows a variety of produce for faculty, students, and staff to enjoy.
On Thursday, The Sustainability Fee Program and Shades of Green hosted environmentalist and artist John Sabraw from Ohio State University. Sabraw is known for his unique work of cleaning acid mine drainage from streams and using the iron oxide found in the drainage to create pigments. Sabraw works to bridge the gap between artists and scientists in what he calls the “Synergy of Curiosity.” Working together, Sabraw shows how collaboration can help towards making our world a sustainable one. During the afternoon, students were able to learn how the pigment is created and had the opportunity to work on a collaborative mural where they could add to the piece in whichever way they chose to. Afterward, Sabraw held a symposium detailing his life’s journey, how he ended up working with the industry that he does, how his industry operates, and what potential it has for the future.
To wrap up Earth Week, the Office of Sustainability, Physics Club, WGUR, Shelter Buddies, Creative Arts Alliance, Student Museum Association, Salamander Springs, GA Power, Gardening Club, and Environmental Science Club all came together to host Earthfest on April 20th. Earlier on in the morning and afternoon, Earthfest offered arts and crafts, such as tie-dye and bracelet-making. Followed by yoga with Hannah Onians, and a full line-up of live music, including Colin Pennington, Ron Harris, Jammin’ Jimmy James, Madi Nunley, and Habersham Sounds.
Earth Week was a huge success, and we hope that this event will inspire the faculty, staff, and students to be more sustainable in their daily lives and help save our Earth.