Earth Day is approaching and the Office of Sustainability invited students to participate in a week of events to celebrate Earth Week from April 17 – 22.
According to the Facebook event page, Earth Week is a week- long set of programming and events coordinated by the Office of Sustainability to celebrate sustainability and educate students and faculty of its importance. These events are open to all members of the university and Hattiesburg communities. Earth Week is a concentrated week of educational programming that focuses on environmental issues, according to the page.
The Office of Sustainability has hosted Earth Week on USM’s campus since April 2009. Haley McMinn, Assistant Director of Sustainability, said Earth Week provides an opportunity for students to learn about sustanability on campus.
“The Office of Sustainability’s primary task is to help guide the university in a direction toward climate neutrality, or having no impact on the environment,” McMinn said. “One of the methods we try to accomplish this is through outreach and education. It’s important for us to do these large events like Earth Week because an engaged campus is a powerful campus. We need an engaged campus to invoke the changes necessary to reach climate neutrality.”
McMinn said students can benefit from learning how to be more sustainable in their personal lives as well as help their university home do the same.
The events scheduled for this week:
Monday, April 17, Edward Hafer, associate professor of music history, hosted a beekeeping lecture from 12 – 1 p.m. in the Thad Cochran Center Room 214 by. His presentation will recount his personal experiences of raising bees and why owning hives can benefit the environment.
Tuesday, April 18, at Shoemaker Square the Office of Sustainability set up a “Junk Mail Booth” from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. to learn how to quickly and efficiently remove yourself from mailing lists. T-Bones hosted an Earth Poetry Night from 8 – 10 p.m. There was environmentally- themed poetry, food and coffee.
Wednesday, April 19, Shoemaker Square the office hosted an Earth Fair from 10 a.m. – 1p.m. Many organizations from campus and the surrounding community shared their environmental messages and sustainable ideas.
Thursday, April 20, the City of Hattiesburg will host the Hattiesburg Earth Fair from 3 – 6 p.m. in conjunction with the downtown Farmer’s Market. There will be booths representing local organizations, as well as live music and local food.
Friday, April 21, there will be a field trip to Lake Thoreau from 11a.m. – 1 p.m. Wildflower Walk and Pollinator Talk gives participants an opportunity to learn about various native species of Mississippi’s flowers and the connections between those species and their pollinators. The event is also free and transportation will be provided. If you are interested in attending, email email@example.com to reserve a spot.
Saturday, April 22, is Earth Day. The City of Hattiesburg and other local and regional entities will sponsor a free collection of household hazardous material known as “Right Way to Throw Away” from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. The event will be held at Bobby L. Chain Airport and the Lamar County Multi-Purpose Center. This is a great opportunity to properly dispose of items like paint, lawn chemicals, household cleaners, and other hazordous materials. Electronics are also accepted, students are encouraged to gather up unused gadgets to dispose of them appropriately.
Earth Week is set from April 17 – 22 with events set up both on campus and in the Hattiesburg area. For those that would like to be involved, the Office of Sustainability is always looking for ideas and feedback from the campus population.
McMinn said the programs they run every year are generated through conversations with students and faculty on campus. For more information on the events you can visit usm.edu/green/event- schedule.