Fairfield University's Green Team spearheads celebration of Earth Week 2008 with multiple campus events


Fairfield University's 'green movement' continues its busy year of projects with many events taking place in April in honor of Earth Week 2008. They include showings of Leonardo DiCaprio's documentary, "The 11th Hour;" a campus-wide sneaker recycling drive; and the Eighth Annual Sigma Xi Poster Session.

The organizers of the events include the Student Environmental Association, and the University's Environmental Steering Committee, which is comprised of eco-conscious faculty, staff and students. Dina Franceschi, Ph. D., associate professor of economics and a steering committee member, said, "The events underscore the University's continuing efforts to make raising environmental awareness and tending to the Earth a way of life."

Earth Day events kick off early on Friday, April 11 with "Sneaker Mountain." The campus community is asked to donate their old sneakers, so they can be recycled into building materials to make eco-friendly playgrounds. A collection site will be located in front of the John A. Barone Campus Center (BCC) until April 24.

Stacy Davis, '09, SEA president, said the recycling drive is being coordinated with the Nike Reuse-a-Shoe Collection program. "Everyone is invited to recycle their rubber shoes, so the rubber material can be turned into playground building material."

From Friday, April 18 through Sunday, April 20, there will be free showings in BCC's first floor lounge alcove of "The 11th Hour," a documentary narrated and co-written by environmental activist and actor Leonardo DiCaprio. The film examines the state of the global environment in the wake of recent natural disasters, and explores how industrial civilization has caused irreparable damage to the Earth. The 2007 release from Warner Independent Pictures includes interviews with more than 50 leading scientists, thinkers and leaders who discuss their visionary and practical solutions for restoring the planet's beleaguered ecosystems.Show times are Friday, April 18 at 6 p.m., Saturday April 19 at 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday April 20at 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

On Sunday, April 20, SEA holds its Earth Day Picnic and Green Fair, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the BCC's Oak Room. The Green Fair will feature live music and outside vendors displaying environmentally friendly products, including the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority Garbage Museum, E - The Environmental Magazine, Fairfield Conservation Department and Mrs. Green's Natural Market.

The annual "Green" lunch for faculty and staff will take place on Tuesday, April 22 in the Oak Room, starting at noon. Local growers and organic farmers will supply the food. The green companies will have display tables set up throughout the room to educate people on the benefits of organic foods and crops treated without the use of pesticides.

The Earth Week festivities will come to a close on Thursday, April 24 with the Eighth Annual Sigma Xi Poster Session. It will be held in the MacDonnell Atrium in the Bannow Science Center, from 3 to 5 p.m. On display will be dozens of science projects from University student researchers in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, math and computer science, and engineering. Sigma Xi, an honor society for scientists and engineers, honors scientific achievement and encourages original work in science and technology. 

Fairfield University has had several environmental programs in place for years, but the University's 'green movement' picked up momentum last year after students in an environmental economics class, taught by Dr. Franceschi, completed an environmental policy review and campus-wide inventory of green projects.

The students' work resulted in the formation of Fairfield University's Environmental Steering Committee and the beginning of significant green initiatives. It also served as the basis for the University's web site, "From Red to Green," which celebrates Earth-friendly living and is a cornerstone of the University's environmental awareness campaign. Visit http://www.fairfield.edu/green

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on April 14, 2008

Vol. 40, No. 236