Shawna Leader/The AS Review
Every year, April 22 is set aside to celebrate the earth and address environmental issues. This year, during the 40th celebration of Earth Day, the AS Environmental Center will hold Earth Days to remind students and community members that environmental awareness should take place every day.
The events will focus on how environmental issues and sustainability apply to many aspects of society, from eating to transportation to activism, Environmental Center Coordinator Lauren Squires said.
“We wanted to make it this really inclusive event, this event that would catalyze people’s involvement in the environmental movement by just showing what a holistic thing it is to live sustainably,” Squires said.
According to Squires, the events will also focus on lifestyles, which are typically based in consumerism.
“There are ways to live that are in sync with the earth and in sync with nature that really fulfill us as people socially, mentally and spiritually,” Squires said.
Overall, Earth Days is about finding common ground.
“All these people have a role in this big thing that we call sustainability,” she said.
Events begin this Sunday and will end on Saturday, April 24 with an all-day festival featuring environmental organizations, music, crafts and local food from noon to 6 p.m. on the Communications Lawn. Andy Bichlbaum, member of prankster group the Yes Men, will speak that evening at 7:30 p.m. in the PAC Mainstage.
Saturday, April 17
LEAD (Learning Environment Action Discovery) will host work parties at Lowell Park, Franklin Park, Crooked Path and Maritime Heritage Park (the work party located in the Outback Garden is full). All work party participants will meet at the Viking Union at 8 a.m. for a kickoff event and breakfast before going to the work sites at 9:00. To sign up, visit www.wwu.edu/lead.
Monday, April 19
“Flow: For the Love of Water” will be shown from 4 to 6 p.m. in AW 204. The film examines why water is a quickly disappearing resource.
Tuesday, April 20
A cooking class, which will focus on how to cook sustainably on a budget, will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Community Food Co-Op kitchen. To sign up, go to the finance office in Viking Union 538. The cost is $5.
Also, showings of “The Story of Stuff” and “Addicted to Plastic” will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. in AW 210, with a discussion afterward.
Wednesday, April 21
Lierre Keith, author of “The Vegetarian Myth,” will speak from 7 to 9 p.m. in AW 204 (a question and answer session will take place earlier in the day from 4 to 5 p.m. in Viking Union 565). Keith’s book challenges beliefs that vegetarianism and veganism will save the planet.
“She causes people to rethink being a vegetarian or being a vegan,” Squires said.
Earlier, a dialogue entitled “Envisioning Bellingham” with Bellingham Mayor Dan Pike will take place from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in Communications Facility 110.
Thursday, April 22
To celebrate Earth Day, an environmental club summit will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. in the VU Multipurpose Room in order to increase involvement and give people opportunities to turn their interests into action.
“These summits are really focused on networking and connecting the environmental community on campus to collaborate and support each other,” Squires said. “It really gives people a tangible way to get involved.”
Free cider and pizza will be available at the summit; attendees are advised to “B.Y.O.M.” (bring your own mug).
Earlier in the day, the Environmental Center will be tabling in Red Square, and in the evening the film “Tapped” will be shown from 4 to 6 p.m. in AW 210.
Friday, April 23
The film “Yes Men Fix the World” will be shown from 7 to 9 p.m. in Viking Union 552. The film, which depicts two men who pose as corporate executives, critiques the actions of corporations. A recent prank involved Yes Man Andy Bichlbaum posing as a representative of Dow, a company that the Yes Men attempted to indict for its relation to the Bhopal disaster.
“They [the Yes Men]work to infiltrate the system to make a statement,” Squires said.
Saturday, April 24
The Saturday Earth Week festival begins at noon on the Communications Lawn with Aztec dancing, followed by musicians 20 Riverside, juggler and spoken word artist Jason Quick, musicians Deadwood Revival, a circus show and musician Adrian Xavier.
Local vendors, representatives from environmental organizations, bike tune-ups and a crafts booth will also be on the lawn. AS Clubs, the AS Recycle Center, the Office of Sustainability and local organizations such as the Small Potatoes Gleaning Project and Sustainable Connections will be at the festival as well.
People who come and spend all day there can listen to music, play Frisbee, eat food, get an internship, plant some herbs, learn how to cook sustainably, tune up their bike [and] make some art,” Squires said.