April 17, 2014

University to celebrate Earth Day 2014

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill.  -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale will celebrate Earth Day 2014 with a week of special activities that highlight and promote green initiatives throughout campus and the region. 

The festivities run Monday, April 21 through April 26.  The week kicks off with a lecture by Josh Fox, the writer and director of “Gasland,” the award-winning documentary about natural gas drilling and fracking.  He will attend “The Solution Project Local Food Brunch” from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Monday in Lentz Hall. 

The luncheon is open to the public. SIU students may attend for free; there is a general admission price of $10 per person. Due to limited seating, reservations are encouraged by emailing jdonoghue@siu.edu or siusense@siu.edu

Fox will also speak at 7 p.m. Monday in Student Center Ballroom D.  The event is free and open to the public. 

On Tuesday, the “Campus Consciousness Tour,” from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., will give participants a glimpse of green initiatives in place around campus.  The tour is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., outside the front entrance on the east side of the Student Center.  The theme, “Life is Better Outdoors,” emphasizes raising awareness about sustainability issues.   

There will also be an Eco-basecamp in front of the Student Center featuring lawn games, a photo booth, and the L.L. Bean Boot-mobile.  Campus groups will offer information about their programs as visitors enjoy solar-powered acoustic music.  

The Springfest Concert, featuring Capital Cities and the hit, “Safe and Sound,” wraps up Tuesday’s events at 7:30 p.m. at the SIU Arena.  The doors open one hour before the show. Tickets are $5 for SIU students with valid student identification and $20 for the general public. 

The week also includes the announcement of the SIU Sustainability Council’s latest “Green Fund” award recipients, along with the winner of the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Record Video” contest.   At noon on Wednesday there will be an “Eating Organic, Local, and Cheap” discussion in the Student Center’s Illinois Room, and at noon on Thursday, a Sustainability Brown Bag Series discussion on shelter in the Student Center’s Thebes Room. 

Organizers encourage students and community members to finish the week’s activities at the campus boat dock on Saturday for a “Leave No Trace Workshop and Lake Cleanup.”  The event begins at 3:30 p.m.  For more information, contact Shane Brady at 931/561-6605 or by email at sbrady417@gmail.com

In conjunction with Earth Day 2014, the Student Center Craft Shop will host several workshops on providing opportunities for reducing waste, recycling and enhanced sustainability.  Participants can learn to “upcycle” and repair jewelry, build a solar oven, or recycle wine bottles into wind chimes, hydroponic planters and other items.  Pre-registration is required for all workshops and costs vary from $7 to $20 for students and $10 to $25 for non-SIU students.  The workshop schedule, details and registration information are available online, calling 618/536-3636, or by email at  craftshp@siu.edu

Additional information about all of the Earth Day 2014 activities is available by visiting www.sustainability.siu.edu or calling 618/453-2786.