University celebrates Earth Week, encourages sustainability

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Nikitha Gajula

Nikitha Gajula The Daily Illini Students browse through donated clothes during a Student For Environmental Concerns’ Earth Day clothing swap event at the YMCA on April 21. This year, Chancellor Robert Jones will bike with BikeFace to promote sustainable campus transportation.

By Kevin Delgado, Staff Writer

During Earth Week, the University’s oldest environmental student group, Students for Environmental Concerns, will host events encouraging students to make more sustainable choices. Earth Week runs through Saturday

“By having small events that are environmentally focused, we hope that students will start to implement sustainable actions into their daily lives,” said Catherine Yee, member of  Students for Environmental Concerns and Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment campus sustainability intern.

This year, the group organized events and lectures to promote sustainable living.

Though most Earth Week events take place every year, Students for Environmental Concerns added new events to the lineup. DuringFossil Free UIUC, Students for Environmental Concerns will present a water/oil separation demo and a showing of Leonardo DiCaprio’s environmental documentary, “Before the Flood.”

Students for Environmental Concerns collaborated with the University’s environmental magazine, “The Green Observer,” Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity and the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment.

Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment will also offer four complimentary lectures on climate change throughout the week.

“Our generation faces unprecedented challenges, both in terms of climate change, resource scarcity and growing economic and societal concerns,” said Micah Kenfield, student sustainability committee coordinator. “Earth Week is an opportunity for us to look at solutions and a way for us to get energized to make greater change in our communities.”

The events vary from a repurposing workshop — designed to teach students how to reuse items they would normally discard like coffee grounds or banana peels — to bike fix-it days on the Main Quad.

BikeFace, the biking awareness group of Students for Environmental Concerns, will provide quick fixes for students as well as teach them how to fix their bikes. The group has also organized a bike ride with Chancellor Robert Jones to encourage environmental modes of transportation.

Students can also engage in hands-on activities like the Veggie Burger Cook-Off.

On Friday afternoon, competitors will create their own veggie burgers and the best will be selected.

“We hope that the campus and surrounding community will realize that our actions have consequences, and we must work to make a better tomorrow,” Yee said.

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