RSO organizes Earth Week, stresses sustainability


Photo Courtesy of Joe Incardella

Shallon Malfeo and Nicole Muczynska pose for a photo at the SECS Climate Strike last fall. The Universities Students For Environmental Concerns group will host Earth Week events from April 17 to April 23.

By Nate Sun, Staff Writer

From April 17 to April 23, Students for Environmental Concerns will be hosting an annual Earth Week as part of the larger Earth Month observance on campus. Each day during this week will include either an in-person or virtual event, all of which are iSEE Certified Green Events, where students and community members can participate. These include volunteer days, discussions, lectures and a trivia night.

The theme of Earth Week this year will be “Coming Together to Heal Our Sick Planet,” as the ongoing pandemic has highlighted the interconnectedness of Earth, its systems and our well-beings. Activities this year will focus on the importance of health and how it relates to the environment.

“Earth Day, to me, is a day to really both admire the nature that we should be protecting all year, and to celebrate and promote the critical activism happening all the time in order to make sure that nature is protected for posterity,” said Andy Sima, treasurer of SECS and senior in LAS. “SECS’ Earth Week is basically a way to make this bigger, and give it more of the spotlight that it deserves.”

The event starts with climate strike sign painting on April 17, in preparation for the Climate Strike that will be held on the April 22. Here, participants can craft their own designs or messages to display during the demonstration. On April 18 there will be a “Plogging” 5K fun run where contestants will run a course around campus while also picking up trash along the way.

After the “Plogging” 5K will be an ecological restoration volunteer activity with the Red Bison organization on campus. Volunteers will get to help remove invasive plant species in the University’s South Arboretum Woods.

April 19 will start off with a Virtual Sustainable Cooking session that participants can follow along to on Zoom. Another Zoom presentation will be held on April 20 that will feature a lecture on Ecosociology along with a discussion afterwards.

SECS will be hosting a Teach-In over Zoom titled “People Over Poison” on April 21. This presentation will be on understanding the threats pipelines pose to the planet and indigenous communities. Also during the day will be an in-person hike through the Arboretum where participants will get to observe native plants and learn about their importance to the local ecosystem.

The aforementioned Climate Strike will take place on April 22, on Earth Day. Participants will get to take parts in chants, listen to speeches and voice their concerns about climate change. SECS expects this event to be the biggest and most exciting. Later in the day will be a roundtable discussion with the La Colectiva organization on campus. Here, topics that will be discussed include environmental health, climate refugees and environmental justice. This discussion will take place over Zoom.

Afterwards, there will be a stargazing get together. The next day, April 23, will begin with a plant fundraiser. Money raised from sales will go to Planned Parenthood. Finally, the week will end with a Zoom Trivia Night and Happy Hour. Questions will focus on plants, animals, the history of environmentalism, national parks and environmental justice and policy. Winners will receive SECS merchandise.

Owen Jennings, SECS Outreach Coordinator, said SECS is going to focus on individual health as well.

“After a challenging year for the health of all those within our community, we at SECS are excited for the opportunity to ficus on what wellness might mean to us,” Jennings said. “It is our hope that throughout Earth week we will be able to inspire dialogue on the intersectionality of wellness and sustainability, while encouraging members of our community to become more involved in creating a healthier community in every manner possible.”

A full list of event times and locations will be posted on the iSEE Earth Month calendar as well as the SECS Facebook and Instagram pages. As mentioned before, SECS said the goal of Earth Week is to have people come together to take parts in all facets of environmentalism. In order to heal the sick planet, the connectedness of people and the many aspects of environmental concerns must be taken into account.

“We must remember that the environmental struggle is intersectional, and we must uplift and protect all who are fighting for environmental justice,” SECS said in an official statement. “We hope that you will join us at our virtual and in-person Earth Week events and invite your friends and neighbors as well, while being mindful of COVID-19 restrictions. Keep an eye out on our social media for specific times and details to come. Earth Day is Every Day!”

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