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Northwestern University

Spring into Action for Earth Month

Earth Month at Northwestern is a call to action. Throughout April, all members of the campus community are encouraged to participate in activities including community volunteer projects and educational events focused on sustainability issues.

Earth Month is an expansion of Earth Day, an international celebration designed to raise awareness around environmental issues and encourage action to protect the environment. Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970, when 20 million Americans participated in demonstrations demanding better environmental protections. The event had an impact, and later that year, Congress authorized the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which was tasked with addressing issues of pollution and environmental degradation.

Northwestern marked the first Earth Day in advance of the national event by hosting a “teach-out” in January of 1970. The event included lectures, concerts, and films about environmental problems and possible solutions.

Since that time, Northwestern’s Earth Day celebration has expanded beyond a single day, and programming is now scheduled throughout the month of April. Whether you have a few minutes to spare or you want to dedicate a day, there’s something for everyone. Look at what’s coming up and learn about how your actions can be part of the solution. Here are a few highlights.

Visit Mount Trashmore

Mount Trashmore will once again be erected on Wednesday, April 25. From 11 am – 3 pm, stop by the lawn in front of Lunt Hall to see the mountain of trash representing how much waste is generated on campus. Learn more about what you can do to help reach our goal of recycling or composting 50 percent of our waste stream. Student volunteers and sustainNU staff members will be on hand to educate visitors about waste reduction and distribute free eco-friendly items, including refillable water bottles and reusable shopping bags.

Clean Up a Local Park

If you are looking to get more actively involved in the movement, there are a few great opportunities to volunteer off campus. On Saturday, April 21, Northwestern will work with community partners to host two park clean-up events: one in Evanston and one in Seneca Park near the Chicago campus. Nine billion tons of litter end up in the ocean every year, polluting our water and putting sea life in danger. Join a park clean-up event to help bring that number down while improving green space for the community.

Plant a Tree

Get your hands dirty on April 27 and help plant a tree on the Evanston campus. Meet at the Rock at 10 am or 12:30 pm and stay for as much or as little time as you can. This event is a fun way to learn about our urban forest while planting a living legacy at Northwestern.

Explore Green Ways of Getting Around

Enjoy two of the healthiest and most environmentally friendly forms of transportation with a walking tour or a group bike ride. Meet sustainNU and YourLife staff at the Rock at 12:15 pm Friday, April 6 for a sustainability walking tour highlighting green features of the Evanston Campus. Alternatively, get rolling on two wheels. Meet up at the Divvy station east of University Library at noon on Friday, April 13 for a guided bike ride. Experienced cyclists will lead the group on a ride around campus and into downtown Evanston. The trip includes a lunch stop at a local café.

Share Your Energy Saving Solutions

Help spread the word about the importance of energy efficiency at the ENERGY STAR Photo Booth. Visit the booth to write down something you do to save energy and snap a photo for sustainNU’s social media channels. Look for the ENERGY STAR banner between April 11 in the Rubloff Building atrium in Chicago. In Evanston, find us on April 17 on the ground floor at Norris or on April 18 in the lobby at Tech. For more details on Earth Month programming and information on how to register for events, click here.

Stay tuned to sustainNU on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay informed on events and catch all the Earth Month action.

Check out this video recap of Earth Month 2017 at Northwestern.

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