It is April, the first full month of spring and a time of the year where it is really quite difficult not to notice the beauty of our Earth’s yearly cycle. In shopping centers and in people’s backyard greenhouses, plants are being watered, gardens are being planned and hands are getting dirty. Honestly, I could write this entire post on gardening (hint:there is one to come), but this week I’d like to broaden my focus and write about a environmentally conscious phenomenon that is relatively new to me: Sustainability Month.
We all have heard of Earth Day, established in 1970 as April 22 and then expanded by many communities into Earth Week. Now, mainly on college campuses, we are seeing the implementation of a month long celebration of the Earth, called Sustainability Month. At UB, April is the month designated, and many environmental groups on campus are looking forward to their chance to reach out to the university with exciting events and engaging activities. Such events will be mainly organized throughout Earth week, 4/17-4/21, and I will provide a comprehensive list of these on next week’s blog. But right now I’d like to bring to your attention some things you can get involved with outside of UB’s environmental organizations and throughout the entirety of Sustainability Month.
First, this week, on Thursday, April 6th and Friday, April 7th Student Engagement is holding a ‘yard sale’ in Student Union room 145. Gently used items that were collected earlier in the week will sold and all proceeds raised at the sale will be donated to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. Not only does this benefit a great cause, it keeps people’s spring cleaning from ending up in a landfill. Stop in at the end of this week, perhaps you will find something you have been looking for!
Next, the deadline for nominations for the UB Slice Awards is Monday, April 10th. This is not an event, but is relevant to Sustainability Month in that it highlights the hard work that UB faculty, staff and students have done to contribute to the environmental efforts of our community. The categories are as follows: Award for Sustainability Excellence by a Department or Cross Functional Team, Student Leadership Award for Sustainable Action, Staff Award for Sustainable Operations Initiative, and Faculty Award for Sustainability in Higher Education. The awards ceremony will take place during Earth Week activities, and is sponsored by the Vice President for Finance and Administration, and the UB Sustainability Office. The link to the nomination page can be found below.
On April 18th, the UB Sustainability Office encourages all to attend the Western New York Sustainable Business Expo 2017. Those in attendance will have the opportunity to engage with business leaders from around WNY who are focusing their efforts on the incorporation of sustainable business practices. Keynote speakers include leaders from Patagonia, Capital Institute and Cascade Engineering. The free expo will be held at the American Axle Building, 1001 E. Delavan, in Buffalo from 3:00-7:30pm. The link to register will be at posted at the bottom of this blog.
There will be some very interesting educational opportunities as well. On April 19th, Professor Adam Rome of the UB Department of History will be presenting a discussion of contemporary environmental issues titled ‘History Facts: From Earth Day 1970 To The Abolition of The EPA?’ in Norton 17 from 5-6:30pm. Then, on Friday April 28th, Penn State professor of atmospheric science Michael Mann will be holding a ‘somewhat lighthearted’ presentation on climate change from 8:30 to 10:45am in Davis 101. The title of his talk is “The Madhouse Effect: Climate Change Denial in the Age of Trump.” These are both sure to be fascinating presentations and I encourage you to attend both if you are available. Mann’s talk, although free, requires your registration and you can find the link for that below.
Finally, on Thursday 4/27 the Professional Staff Senate’s Sustainable Living Committee will be holding an Electronics and Clothing Recycling event in the Center for Tomorrow parking lot on north campus. In addition to all types of clothing, they will be accepting a huge variety of personal electronics, a full list of which you can find at the link below. Recycling services will be provided by Maven Industries and Hearts for Homeless. Many of your electronics contain harmful chemicals that leech into the environment when thrown into a landfill, so recycling them makes a world of difference. Be sure to stop by this event if you have old equipment laying around.
This post doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of the events UB will be hosting throughout sustainability month, I just hoped to highlight a handful. For a more complete list, check out the link below from the UB Office of Sustainability’s website, and as noted above, my blog next week will provide a full list of events that UB’s environmental clubs and organizations will be hosting throughout Earth Week.
Student Sustainability Coordinator UB-CDS
Cultural Anthropology B.A. (In-Progress)
Vice President, UB Campus Garden Club