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Northwestern Students Drive Earth Week Celebration

Events are underway through April 26 to engage and educate community

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The annual Mount Trashmore demonstration Tuesday (April 22), and Bike2Campus Week through Friday (April 25) are two of the many events marking Earth Week at Northwestern University this year.  

Northwestern is celebrating Earth Week with programming for the Evanston campus and the greater community through April 26 with events focused around seven main themes: energy, water, waste, transportation, food, community and climate change. 

The Office of Sustainability in Facilities Management coordinates Earth Week programming with heavy involvement from student groups and many areas of the University.

Bike2Campus Week invites participants to log their bike rides through Friday, April 25, for a chance to win prizes, such as Divvy membership or a Chipotle gift card. Northwestern will compete against nine participating schools in the Chicago area.

“Student groups are passionate about sustainability throughout the year and drive most of the Earth Week events,” said Allison Potteiger, Northwestern’s sustainability communications coordinator. “This is our chance to highlight their work.”

Earth Week planners hope the variety of themes and events will engage all members of the Northwestern community: students, faculty, staff and Northwestern’s Evanston neighbors.

“A successful Earth Week engages the Northwestern community by putting sustainability at the forefront of activities,” Potteiger said.

A signature Earth Week event is the annual Mount Trashmore installation to be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, on the lawn outside Lunt Hall. A mountain of garbage will provide a visual representation of the volume of waste disposed of on the Evanston campus. 

The event is intended to remind the community of the need for recycling and waste reduction. Community members can learn how they can help make the pile smaller and will have a chance to win prizes. 

Other notable Earth Week events include:

  • No Impact Challenge,” through Saturday, May 3: Participants compete to use the fewest number of single-use disposable items throughout the week and report their usage rates daily. Interested participants can sign up here.
  • Campus-Wide Shoe Collection,” through Friday, April 25: Join the Associated Student Government (ASG) sustainability committee, the University Library and Northwestern athletics and donate your shoes to benefit the Purple Heart veterans. Shoes that can be reused will be sold at a local thrift shop, and the others will be recycled.
  • The City of Evanston Earth Day and Arbor Day Celebration,” from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 26: Evanston residents are invited to celebrate and protect the planet by participating in a range of events. The day will begin with a volunteer effort to clean up city parks, followed by a tree planting and community celebration.
  • Exit Disclaimer: Science and Fiction Ahead,” 8 to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 26: The department of theatre presents “The Seldoms,” performing a work that surveys our rancorous, divisive national debate about climate change and its divergent positions, including denial, skepticism, indifference and urgency. There will be a post-performance talk with several faculty members.

More information can be found on the Earth Week website.

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