Fairfield University's 'green team' plans events for Earth Week 2009


Fairfield University's 'green movement' continues its busy agenda with multiple events planned for Earth Week 2009. They include "Light's Out!" a campus-wide brownout; a screening of "Big Ideas for a Small Planet," "Letters to Congress," "Cookies for Comments," and the Ninth Annual Sigma Xi Poster Session.

The organizers of the events are Fairfield University's Program on the Environment, Student Environmental Association (SEA), and the nearly-year-old Green Campus Initiative (GCI), a student-led initiative working on numerous projects to advance sustainability and eco-responsible practices on campus. Senior Galen Vinter, president of GCI, said that the events underscore the University's continuing efforts to promote environmental awareness. "The GCI has come a long way in just one year and is proud to be a recognizable name around campus. We look forward to many more years with our new GCI/SEA bond."

Events kick off on Monday, April 20 at 9 p.m. in Gonzaga Auditorium, with "Movie and a Pajama Party," featuring a screening of "Big Ideas for a Small Planet," a documentary exploring vital environmental innovations and interviews with progressive thinkers out to save Mother Earth.

What is the next big thing to be recycled at Fairfield? What's up for the shuttle bus next year? These questions and more will be answered at "Cookies for Comments," taking place on Tuesday, April 21 and Wednesday, April 22, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Barone Campus Center (BCC). Dana August, president of SEA, said, "Students will be given a cookie for any question or comment they have about the environmental movement on campus. We'll later display the answers and comments in the BCC."

The "More Green Cleaners Party," a free event to teach the public how to make non-toxic, eco-friendly homemade cleansers, will take place on Tuesday, April 21, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., in Bannow Science Center, Room 319.

The annual Earth Day Lunch for faculty and staff will take place on Wednesday, April 22 beginning at noon in the Oak Room. Local growers and organic farmers will supply the food.

"Letters to Congress," an effort to urge lawmakers to address pressing environmental issues, will take place on Thursday, April 23, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the BCC. Campus environmentalists will have on hand form letters that students can send to their respective Congressional representatives. August said, "We'll have a list of all the members of Congress, so students just have to address a letter and sign their name."

On Thursday, April 23, the Ninth Annual Sigma Xi Poster Session will take place in the MacDonnell Atrium in the Bannow Science Center, from 3 p.m. 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.

Renowned ecologist and economist Robert Costanza, Ph. D., the Gund Professor of Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont, will deliver the annual Earth Day lecture. The free talk entitled, "The Opportunities for Real Solutions Presented by the Current Global Recession," will take place on Thursday, April 23 at 6:30 p.m. in the Kelley Center.

On Friday, April 24, it's light's out for the campus-wide brownout. Students are encouraged to turn off their lights from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. to show support for the Earth.

On Sunday, April 26, the annual Earth Day Concert and Picnic for students will occur from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Oak Room. Local musicians and "environmental vendors" will take part. August said, "There will be as much locally grown food as we can get our hands on, and during the concert, there will be an activities fair on the BCC roof - the site of the future green roof." For more information, visit www.fairfield.edu/green.

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

Posted on April 16, 2009

Vol. 41, No. 305