April 12, 2011–Earth Day activities at the University of Utah are an important part of the campus each year and too numerous to fit into the nationally designated day of April 22. As a result, people are being encouraged to get involved in many different ways to preserve the environment over a two-week period.
To start the celebration, the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center is offering four service projects on Saturday, April 16 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. As Ashley Edgette, the Bennion Center student director of the Mountain View Elementary Community Gardens project says, “The Bennion Center’s Earth Day is a wonderful way to learn about valuable community organizations, meet new people, do good work, get your hands dirty, and help create more beautiful spaces in our city.” For more information, visit www.bend-in-the-river.org.
The Associated Students of the University of Utah (ASUU) will put on ASUU: Earth Fest 2011 on the Union Plaza on Earth Day, April 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The festival will feature local food and sustainability oriented organizations. There will also be a bike parade around campus from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. that will feature ASUU Director of Sustainability Norah Olley and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, who will act as the Grand Marshall. The Department of Public Safety will also be on campus to register bicycles and give away bike locks to the first 100 cyclists to sign up.
The Earth Fest celebration on the University of Utah campus is an annual celebration that includes sustainability oriented and green organizations throughout the city and state, as well as the campus organizations dedicated to sustainability. According to Olley, “We are so lucky to have Mayor Becker join us in our Earth Fest celebration event. The Mayor has been a huge supporter of sustainability and has done so much for cyclists during his tenure including significantly increasing the number of bike lanes around town. With the university hiring a consulting firm to create a bicycle master plan for campus, it is a great time to be a cyclist in this town and on campus.”
Also on Earth Day, the University of Utah Office of Sustainability will host a short tour of three student projects funded by the Sustainable Campus Initiative Fund (SCIF) starting at the Sill Center at 11 a.m., which is located just east of the Union. Immediately following the SCIF tour and again at the Sill Center, the Sustainability Research Center will be demonstrating how to use the stored cold from winter to avoid summer’s heat. Kent Udell and his team of researchers will present a live demonstration of the concept of the “Ice-Ball” project at 11:45 a.m.
Finally, on April 29 and 30, the university will host an e-waste recycling event sponsored by local Apple computer retailer Simply Mac in order to responsibly recycle old computers, cell phones and other electronic equipment. The event is taking place at 72 S. Central Campus Drive from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days.
For information on environmental activities at the University of Utah, visit: www.sustainability.utah.edu