PHILADELPHIA –- While the nation will celebrate Earth Day on April 22, the Green Campus Partnership at the University of Pennsylvania offers a slate of green events throughout the month because a single day just isn’t enough.
Among April’s major announcements will be the results of the 10-week RecycleMania contest, and GreenFund grant winners will be announced.
Also, students interested in environmental issues may apply for the Eco-Reps program that is expanding to the entire college house and Greek chapter communities in 2010-11. Applications are open now through Sept. 12 on the GCP website, www.upenn.edu/sustainability/eco-reps.html.
Events get under way at 7 p.m., April 1, when the Eco-Reps in Rodin College House host a screening of the film “Addicted to Plastic” in the Rooftop Lounge. Attendees will get free recycling bins, and pizza will be served.
Also tomorrow, employees who have ideas for making the University’s offices and labs more ecologically friendly can attend their choice of two Eco- Reps working group meetings set for noon Thursday, April 1, and Friday, April 2. RSVPs for room locations should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students interested in learning more about organic composting can take the GCP’s free bus trip Friday, April 2, to the Wilmington Organic Recycling Center for a guided tour of where Penn sends its dining hall food waste. Buses leave the Penn Bookstore at 2:30 p.m. for the three-hour tour. Additional information is available by e-mail at email@example.com. Those wishing to sign up can also use that address.
A Penn Garden groundbreaking will begin at 11 a.m., Saturday, April 3, when volunteers will create a vegetable garden in a plot just west of Rodin College House. Help is needed to lift the grass, till the soil, lay down topsoil and compost, build wooden frames for raised beds and plant the seeds.
On Wednesday, April 7, Penn will be recognized as a 2009 Tree Campus USA school during an Arbor Day spring tree planting 11:30 a.m.--1.30 p.m. on College Green. Representatives from the Arbor Day Foundation and corporate sponsor Toyota; Anne Papageorge, vice president of the Division of Facilities and Real Estate Services; and Paul Meyer, director of Morris Arboretum will speak.
Later on that evening, the Penn Undergraduate Assembly will present New York Times writer Elisabeth Rosenthal, who will speaker on “Sustainability in the U.S.: Lessons from Europe on Reducing Fossil Fuel Usage.”
Penn plays host to its Ivy League peers Thursday, April 8, at the day-long Ivy Plus Sustainability Coordinators Conference when the discussion will focus on sustainability in university athletics and recreation.
The Penn Environmental Group will hold its annual Green Fest noon-4 p.m. Friday, April 9, at Wynn Commons, Houston Hall. This campus-wide environmental festival is designed to raise environmental awareness and help facilitate the collaboration of eco-friendly groups throughout Penn.
Morris Arboretum’s Cherry Blossom Festival Saturday, April 17, kicks off its Green Fund project. The festival celebrates the Arboretum’s rich Japanese culture and heritage with a variety of activities including sushi making, Japanese drum performances, archery demonstrations and a Japanese elements garden tour. The event includes a free lunch for students. Students can sign up for the free student bus trip program at www.morrisarboretum.org. The first 40 students to reserve a seat will board, and students without reservations may fill available empty seats. Buses will leave promptly from the Penn Bookstore at 12:30 p.m.
On Earth Day, April 22, students can ditch their one-time-use plastic water bottles in favor of a reusables at the Green Campus Partnership’s water bottle giveaway, noon-2 p.m. on College Green.
Also that day, Penn Dining will embrace food vendor Bon Appetit’s nationwide Low Carbon Diet Day event in all Penn Dining locations.
Greening of Penn Relays begins April 22. The Relays will feature a large-scale recycling system and FSC-certified paper products for the first time in history. The Penn Relays School Days program takes place on April 23 and will educate K-8 students from Philadelphia-area schools about the importance of water conservation and a healthy lifestyle.
Another event in celebration of Earth Day is PEG’s Schuylkill River Cleanup set for 10 a.m., Saturday, April 24. For this service event, PEG is partnering with Temple University for a two-hour cleanup of a section of the river. The student volunteers will work with United Blue Action, an apparel company that has pledged to remove one pound of trash from the world’s oceans, beaches and waterways for every product sold.
Another Morris Arboretum event is the hour-long Campus Tree Tour that begins at 2 p.m., Sunday, April 25, on College Green. Leaving from the Button, Jason Lubar, the Arboretum’s director of urban forestry, will lead participants around campus to learn about the trees that line the streets and walkways.
Meanwhile, during April, University offices have invited the Green Campus Partnership team to bring the Sustainablity 101 presentation to their staffs. These include the Wharton Finance and Administration Group on April 8, ISC SuperUser Group on April 12, area managers on April 13, HR Council on April 15, the Law School on April 26 and Career Services on April 30. Other departments interested in hosting a presentation should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Penn’s Graduate Student Center will go green at GradFest Saturday, May 1, as it offsets a week of electricity usage by a donation of Renewable Energy Credits from Community Energy.