Earth Week Events Challenge Students to Go Green

If anyone at UT Dallas is tempted to think that it’s not worth the trouble to recycle, Earth Week 2013 will provide a visual of how much trash the landfills could be spared each day – just from the campus alone.  

Mt. Trashmore from 2012 during Earth Week

A student made and wore an outfit fashioned from plastic bags at the UT Dallas observance of Earth Day last year.

Mount RecycleMore, a heaping pile of all the recyclables collected in a single day at UT Dallas, will show the amount of "trash" Comets generate that can be regularly repurposed.

The interactive display – students, staff and faculty can add their own plastic, aluminum cans, cardboard, paper and ink jet cartridges to the pile – is just one highlight of Earth Week, April 15-20. Organizers also have planned an informational fair, workshops and an off-campus service opportunity.

“What we aim for with Earth Week is awareness, advocacy and direct service to the community,” said Monalisa Amidar, assistant director of the Office of Student Volunteerism. Her office organizes Earth Week events along with Student Government and the Office of Administration's Sustainability department.

The events kicks off with an Earth Fair on April 16, when 15-20 student organizations will be handing out reusable totes and other giveaways and sharing their best advice on going green. Fair attendees are invited to bring canned goods and use them in an interactive art competition sponsored by Raising Cans. The cans will be donated to Comet Cupboard, a student-run food pantry for UT Dallas students.

Representatives of the city of Richardson and the city of Plano will talk about their environmental programs and explain volunteer opportunities for students. UT Dallas is giving back to the community as 50 students will be helping to clean up two creeks in Plano on Friday, April 19.

Earth Week Events

Tuesday, April 16
Earth Fair with Mount RecycleMore
11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Chess Plaza

Wednesday, April 17
Gardening Workshop
4-5 p.m., UT Dallas Community Garden

Thursday, April 18
Pedal for the Planet: Bike Across Campus, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., Activity Center

Friday, April 19
Volunteer Creek Clean-up
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. City of Plano

An April 18 bike ride called Pedal for the Planet, an event sponsored by Student Government, will begin at the bus turnaround point outside the Activity Center and travel around campus.

“As students become comfortable using their bikes on campus and its perimeters, some may extend that green habit and venture out to enjoy the areas surrounding campus,” said Thea Junt, sustainability manager.

A free gardening workshop on Wednesday, April 17, will prepare students to grow their own vegetables in containers that will fit on an apartment balcony. Plants and containers will be provided at no cost.

Haley Bilbray, a chemistry junior, says she looks forward to Earth Week each spring as a positive reminder that college students can make a difference.

“I tend to forget as a college student that there are things I could do, like use a laptop instead of paper for taking notes,” Bilbray said. “Earth Week helps us revisit the fact that the earth is a living thing.”

Registration is required for some Earth Week events. For more information or to register, call 972-883-6393 or email [email protected].

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].