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Earth Week Celebration Grows in Second Year

April 8, 2011

Now in its second year, UC Merced’s student-run Earth Week celebration is growing and evolving.

Organized by junior Diana Franklin — the Associated Students of UC Merced’s Commissioner of Sustainability — the five-day fete will begin with a kickoff event on April 18 and culminate on Earth Day, April 22.

The kickoff event, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 18, will be something of a sustainability street fair, with various attractions, information and food. Campus clubs devoted to environmental awareness and energy efficiency will have tables along Scholars Lane. And the campus’ student chapter of Engineers for a Sustainable World are organizing a green business fair, which will feature local businesses committed to sustainability — like J&R Tacos of Merced, which will be giving away free organically-grown corn.

“Earth Week is a perfect time for us to raise awareness about reducing energy use and protecting our environment,” said Franklin, who’s also the team manager of the Alliance to Save Energy’s Green Campus Programat UC Merced. “Sustainability is what this campus was built on, and our students, staff and faculty all have to do their part if we’re going to make a real difference.”

Also returning for its second year is the Earth Week Speaker Series, organized by the Green Campus team. The highlight of the series will come April 21, when author Richard Oppenlander will give a talk and then sign copies of his new book, “Comfortably Unaware: Global Depletion and Food Responsibility … What You Choose to Eat.”

Other planned events include Green Club solar tours on April 19 and Green Hall’s third annual Green Boxcar Race on Scholars Lane on April 22. A complete listing of events can be found below.

The Earth Week events are part of Green Campus UC Merced’s month-long “Green Up” campaign, designed to teach the campus community about ways to decrease energy use and water consumption, save money, reduce their carbon footprint and practice proper recycling.

The Green Up event planned for Earth Day will include raffles for those who attend a given number of Earth Week events. Punch cards track event attendance will be provided at the kickoff event and throughout the week.

Additional UC Merced clubs and groups that will take part in Green Up events include: Energy Service Corps, Women in Science and Engineering, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and Business Society.

Monday, April 18

Green Up Earth Week Kickoff, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Scholars Lane

Tuesday, April 19

Earth Week Speaker Series, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Bobcat Lair

Speakers: Energy Service Corps, Energy Efficiency Training; Mark Maxwell, UC Merced LEED coordinator

Green Club Solar Tours, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Meet outside the Lantern

Wednesday, April 20

Earth Week Speaker Series, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Bobcat Lair

Speakers: John Elliott, UC Merced assistant director of energy and facilities; Peter Buick, President/CEO, EMCo Systems Solutions

Green Club Movie Screening, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., TBD

Thursday, April 21

Earth Week Speaker Series, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Bobcat Lair

Speakers: Jim Genes, UC Merced special assistant to the vice chancellor of administration and co-chair of the sustainability advisory committee; Richard Oppenlander, author of “Comfortably Unaware: Global Depletion and Food Responsibility … What You Choose to Eat.” Oppenlander book signing to follow lecture.

Friday, April 22 (Earth Day)

Sustain Gang Presents: Green Up, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Outside the Office of Student Life

Green Hall Third Annual Green Boxcar Race, 2 to 5 p.m., Scholars Lane