The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point will host a range of events in honor of Earth Day the week of April 17-22.
Jenessa Gilarski, sophomore health science major and communication specialist for the Office of Sustainability, says that the theme for this year’s Earth Week is diversity.
Diversity may be a word that is rarely associated with sustainability, but Gilarski pointed out that it still fits the concept.
“A lot of people don’t know that social justice is one of the aspects of sustainability, because you think of sustainability and it’s like ‘oh planting trees and recycling’ but there’s also a lot more to it’” Gilarski said. “The bottom line of the three P’s is people, planet and profit, so that people aspect is really about social justice and creating equality.”
For this reason, the Office of Sustainability and Student Government Association have
chosen a diverse array of speakers to offer their perspectives on sustainability throughout the week. These talks will occur Monday through Thursday night at 6 p.m. in Room 116 of the College of Professional Studies.
Environmentally minded student organizations are also getting involved.
On Tuesday, April 18 the Environmental Educators and Naturalists Association has organized an Eco-fair at the Dreyfus University Center in the Laird Room from 9-4 p.m., followed by a concert starting at 8 p.m. in the DUC Encore room.
The fair will feature booths of student organizations and local businesses. Raffle tickets and snacks will also be available for purchase.
Students for Sustainability will wrap up the week with their annual tree planting on Saturday.
Shelly Stein, president of Students For Sustainability, and junior soil and land management major, said the group plans to plant a new harmony elm. The sapling elm tree will be planted in the same bed that previously contained the iconic pin oak which was infected with oak wilt and had to be cut down over winter break.
The planting will occur at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, behind the DUC at the site of the old pin oak.
“I think Earth Day is important because it’s a holiday with the intention of specifically acknowledging our natural world, “Stein said. “I think that a big problem we are facing in the future is people being out of touch with their natural environment. Earth Day is a public event that’s asking people, who maybe otherwise wouldn’t, to acknowledge our planet.”
The Office of Sustainability will keep students updated on Earth Week events through their Facebook page and SPIN. They also plan on releasing a calendar outlining the many opportunities that week.
The events aims to appeal to a wide range of students.
Gilarski said, “We are really trying to reach out to a broader audience because they think the Office of Sustainability is just for natural resources people, but it’s not. You can incorporate sustainability into any career pretty much and really a lot of things do come down to sustainability in one of the three aspects of people, planet and profit.”