Earth Week festival teaches students sustainable practices
Campus embraces the environment
Spring has finally emerged on Auraria, inviting students outside to enjoy the sunshine and flowers blooming all over campus. The Earth Week Festival, which ran on April 24 and 25, couldn’t have come at a better time. What better way to celebrate Earth Week than being able to leave the classroom for a while and enjoy the outdoors?
The Earth Week Festival was put on by the Auraria Sustainable Campus Program. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, the Tivoli quad was lined with tables and tents set up by several different organizations from Metro State, CU Denver, and CCD, all dedicated to protecting and sustaining the planet. Students were given a stamp sheet to incentivize them to talk to the representatives of at least 10 tables. Each table could give them a stamp, and 10 stamps meant a five-dollar meal voucher to one of five food trucks. This encouraged students to take an interest in what their peers were working on to help keep the Earth a healthy and happy place for humans and animals alike.
“At first I thought it was just great to be able to go around to tables so I could get the free food,” Abby Mork, a senior biochemistry student, claimed. “But going around, talking to people, I learned so much. The table for the CU Denver Urban Bee project was especially interesting. I never would have thought of bee health as being important for sustaining the environment but talking to the Project representatives made me think about them in a whole new way. Talking to everyone just made me want to do more.”
There were organizations representing a whole array of environmental issues, including the Denver chapter of the Colorado Renewable Energy Society, the CU Denver Urban Bee Project, the Student Government Association, and, of course, the Auraria Sustainable Campus Program. From suggestions about energy conservation to encouraging students to try “Meatless Mondays,” attendees were educated about opportunities to do more for the planet.
There was also an art competition featuring student works that addressed social, cultural, or environmental concerns. The competition offered a 200-dollar prize for the winner.
One of the more popular attractions at the festival was the clothing swap put on by CU Denver’s Office of Student Life. There was a table set out with free clothes that had been donated by other students with a selection of shirts, pants, and even some dresses to take home. Students could get involved in Earth Week by making sure that good clothes could be worn again rather than just getting thrown away. The table was quite a success, with almost no clothes remaining by the festival’s end.
After visiting tables to get a meal voucher, students had the option to use that voucher at one of the food trucks catering the festival. Students could choose from Migration Tacos, Real Deal Juices, Nimbus Korean BBQ, or Pierogies Factory. Another favorite of many students was the Ba-Nom-a-Nom truck, serving plant-based “nice cream.” Students could end their experience of the festival with a sweet treat that was kind to both the animals and the environment, perfect for the overall message that Earth Week promotes.
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