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Celebrating the Environment

Northwestern to honor Earth Day with week of events starting April 19

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April 19, 2010 | by Wendy Leopold
Watch highlights from the 2009 Mount Trashmore event. The mountain of trash represents how much garbage is generated on campus every six hours and raises awareness about campus recycling programs. Video produced by Matt Paolelli

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University is celebrating the 40th anniversary of Earth Day with a week of activities from April 19 to April 24. The activities -- some old, some new -- include a public lecture by famed ocean ecologist Jean-Michel Cousteau, a panel discussion with some of Northwestern's first student environmental activists, the return of the unsightly Mount Trashmore and volunteer opportunities for campus gardening and City of Evanston clean-up.

Below is a potpourri of Northwestern Earth Week activities to pique the interests of members of the University and Evanston communities alike.

  • April 19 to 23: Students will be competing for prizes by answering two questions a day in an environmental trivia contest sponsored by the One Book One Northwestern initiative. To play, students make daily visits to http://www.northwestern.edu/onebook/trivia/.
  • April 22, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Mount Trashmore returns! Check out this towering mountain of garbage on the lawn outside Lunt Hall, 2033 Sheridan Road. Mount Trashmore is a true visual representation of garbage disposed of on the Evanston campus in a mere six hours. For the third Earth Day, this mountain of trash will serve as a reminder of the urgent need for recycling and waste reduction. Educational materials and eco-friendly handouts will be made available.
  • April 22, 2 to 4 p.m.: Check out Northwestern's "Green Groups Open House" in the lobby of the McCormick Tribune Center, 1870 Campus Drive, to learn about the work Northwestern student environmental groups are doing and about possibilities for your own involvement in their future projects.
  • April 22, 4 to 5 p.m.: "An Earth Day Panel with Northwestern's Pioneer Environmental Activists" in the McCormick Tribune Center Forum, 1870 Campus Drive, will feature founding members of Northwestern Students for a Better Environment. These pioneers of environmental activism will discuss Project Survival, the environmental "teach-out" they organized 40 years ago. Project Survival brought together an estimated 10,000 people in a program on the "Environmental Problems of Species Man." It featured biologist and "The Population Bomb" author Paul Erlich, early environmental activist and one-time presidential candidate Barry Commoner, then Congressman Adlai Stevenson and folksinger Tom Paxton. Many of the students behind Project Survival have gone on to careers in biology, ecology and environmental science. They will reflect on the 1970 event they organized that became known as the nation's first large-scale environmental movement event. The panel is free and open to the public.
  • April 22, 7 to 8:30 p.m.: World renowned environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau will discuss "The Other 70%: Understanding the Earth's Underwater Ecosystems." Cousteau's speech, at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, is free and open to the public. To reserve seats, pre-register at http://www.tinyurl.com/earthday2010-jmc.
  • April 24, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m: Northwestern's Associated Student Government (ASG) once again hosts ASG reNUvation Day, in which student and Evanston volunteers together clean up city beaches, neighborhoods and parks. Projects may include painting park benches and planting flowers. Help keep Evanston beautiful. E-mail TulsiParida2012@u.northwestern.edu or visit www.norris.northwestern.edu/community.php for information about volunteer opportunities.