From Tuesday April 18 to Friday April 21, Bellevue College’s Office of Sustainability and Environmental Advisory Committee will hold its 18th annual Earth Week.
Earth Week consists of a series of activities and events to encourage students to make positive differences in their community. Every day of Earth Week there will be different workshops, speakers and food. This year’s theme is “Rise Up. Be the Change.”
“The theme was chosen for this year to bring attention to the social aspect of sustainability,” said Director of Sustainability Amber Nicholson. “We have some great work being done on campus surrounding social justice and in order to be sustainable, you must think about people as well as the planet.”
“It’s important to think about climate change when using the word ‘change,’ and how you can modify or reconsider your actions to reduce your impact,” said Nicholson. Several interactive activities on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle will be spread out throughout the week including a composting workshop and an electric vehicle car show. “We have a lot of volunteer activities,” said Whisper St. Christopher, Sustainability coordinator.
“We’re doing a trash sort for C building so when people are confronted with what they’ve done, it will kind of spark the realization that you can be the change.” From last year’s trash sort, many of the items that were thrown away could have been composted or recycled. Through the various volunteering opportunities and interactive workshops, St. Christopher believes “it’s how we’re going to bring Earth Week together.”
“There’s a lot of different aspects of sustainability that are going to be coming together in this one week, so I would hope that students leave inspired having learned something they didn’t already know, and hopefully just more interested in different areas that they weren’t before,” said St. Christopher.
“I truly hope that what students get most out of this week’s events is learning how being sustainable yourself can help the world, that every little bit helps. As well as that it is so easy to buy, consume and dispose trash in sustainable way,” said Makenzie L. Santerelli, Peer to Peer Coordinator.
Many speakers will be visiting BC to discuss sustainability, including Dr. Enesto Penas Lado from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Dr. Cliff Mass from the University of Washington’s Atmospheric Sciences and Jeff Renner, former King 5 news meteorologist.
The schedule for Earth Week is on the Bellevue College website. St. Christopher recommends that students “look at the schedule and find stuff that sounds interesting to you and also stuff that you would never ever go to and go to both of those, because then you’ll learn something new and you’ll also learn something you’re interested in.”
Other future sustainability projects at Bellevue College include a new bike rental program, where students can rent bikes to ride on campus, as well as efforts to make the carpooling program more accessible to students through Zimride, BCs carpooling network. Students who are seeking volunteer opportunities or want to know more about sustainability can reach out to the Office of Sustainability at firstname.lastname@example.org.