Week-long Earth Days celebration will promote sustainability
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Week-long Earth Days celebration will promote sustainability

To celebrate Earth Day on April 22, the Sustainability Club, as well as other organizations around the community, are hosting a week of events. The theme for the week is ‘Let’s Talk Trash.’

Faith Ireland, a second-year sustainability major and events coordinator for Sustainability Club, said the theme is focused on “human waste and what we can do to better the environment by reducing our waste.”

The week will kick off with an Earth Days book discussion at the Vermillion Public Library on Saturday, April 20. One event that’s returning from previous Earth Day celebrations is the USD Earth Day Fair, which will take place on Monday, April 22 in the MUC pit.

“Students will be able to network with 15 individuals and organizations from all different parts of sustainability,” Ireland said.

In addition to the Fair, the sustainability club will host an Earth Day gala on Tuesday and a free Beard concert on Wednesday.

“(At the gala) there will be free food, three different speakers, games, a silent auction and a different atmosphere for people to talk about sustainability,” Ireland said.

Meghann Jarchow, the chair of the Department of Sustainability and Environment, said the week is a community-wide series of events.

“There’s a bunch that the sustainability club is doing and then a number of some other groups do multiple ones (events) but a lot of different organizations coordinate different events,” Jarchow said. “So like the Vermillion Area Farmers Market is coordinating the Green Day on the Platz; they’ll have music, dancing and food.”

Holly Black, a freshman medical biology and sustainability major, said she’s looking forward to engaging with the community through the events.

“I think that the best way to approach sustainable topics is in a community environment, so I think this is a really good opportunity to promote sustainability in general in a really fun way,” Black said.

Ireland said she thinks the week of events will help people better understand what sustainability is.

“Sustainability has always been seen as a doom and gloom subject so not a lot of people are very involved in it,” Ireland said. “So having a week full of events in different areas, in different categories can then involve as many different people as possible so they can have an understanding of what sustainability is. It’s mostly an empowering movement just to have a better planet and a better future for future generations instead of something to be worried or cautious or stressed about.”

Other events include a free showing of the movie Happy Feet, a “Building a Green Economy: Indigenous Strategies for a Sustainable Future” lecture and a night sky hike at Spirit Mound. To find the full list of events, go to the Greening Vermillion website.