SRU celebrating Earth Day with monthlong activities
In observance of Earth Day, April 22, Slippery Rock University is hosting several activities throughout the month intended to raise awareness and action to protect the environment.
April 9, 2021
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Earth Day, the world's largest civic observance that supports environmental protection, is recognized every year on April 22. At Slippery Rock University, however, there are events and activities occurring on multiple days throughout the month. Presented by the SRU President's Commission on Sustainability, the SRU Earth Days include workshops, social-media challenges, virtual panel discussions and more.
Protecting the environment doesn't require a simple observance of Earth Days, but deliberate action, according to Paul Scanlon, director of sustainability and co-chair of the PCS.
"We're no longer talking about global warming or climate change, we're now in a climate crisis," Scanlon said. "All the things that scientists have been predicting for decades and decades about the average global temperature increase are not only coming true, but doing so much faster than they predicted. That's why there's a big push in the next 12 years to cut fossil fuel use by 50% and 100% by 2050."
SRU kicked off its Earth Days events with three virtual discussions earlier this week that addressed: 1.) global organizations taking action to mitigate climate change, 2.) social issues related to environmental protection and 3.) solar energy in Pennsylvania as part of the monthly "Climate Conversations" series.
"The major points we're addressing right now are the climate crisis, that is now an existential threat that's fast approaching, as well as the intersectionality with social equity," Scanlon said. "There are social inequalities that exists because of environmental damage. For example, most coal-fired power plants are located in communities that are underserved or they are in communities made up of people of color."
A complete listing of Earth Days events is available online. The remaining Earth Days activities that are either open to the public or to all SRU students include:
- Birds and Bagels, 9-10 a.m., April 13, via Zoom. This bird-watching program hosted by SRU's Macoskey Center for Sustainability Education and Research that is typically conducted in-person with complimentary bagels is being conducting virtually via Zoom. Participants will view live video streams of bird-feeder cameras and discuss birding and bird habitats. To request a Zoom link, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Macoskey Center social media channels.
- Eco-Challenge, April 18-24, is a social media campaign organized by the Macoskey Center where people can take photos, such as picking up roadside trash, based on environmentally friendly prompts posted from the Macoskey Center Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. People will then tag or direct message the Macoskey Center with their photos for a chance to win prizes.
- Sustain-a-Swap, April 19-23, is a video campaign in which students from the Foundations of Sustainability class at SRU will share videos on the Macoskey Center YouTube channel, encouraging people to sustain-a-swap, which is a practice of replacing household items with more sustainable options, such as using beeswax paper instead of plastic wrap.
- Earth Day Care Packages, April 20, is a program organized by the Macoskey Center and Boost Peer Coaching where SRU students can sign up to receive natural products to improve their mental wellness and support the environment. Students wishing to have the package mailed to their home can sign up via CORE by April 13 and students who can pick up the package, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., April 20, can register on a separate CORE page. Packages have limited available that is indicated on each CORE page.
- "Become a Master of the (Sustainable) Universe," 1-2:15 p.m., April 21, via Zoom. Scanlon is leading a virtual discussion based on an educational tool developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management that predicts the impact that plans and strategies could have on the global temperature increase by 2100. Members of the SRU community can register online through SRU's Leadership Development Center or email Scanlon at email@example.com to request a Zoom link.
- Sourdough Baking for Beginners Workshop, noon to 1:30 p.m., April 22, via Zoom. This workshop, hosted by Corie Eckman, graduate assistant at the Macoskey Center, offers a sustainable perspective on their sourdough baking routine, using ingredients with no additives and self-sufficient practices. Register online through SRU's Leadership Development Center or email the Macoskey Center at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a Zoom link.
More information about sustainability at SRU and Earth Days is available on the Office of Sustainability webpage.
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