Preview of Mason Earth Week 2013

Mason's Office of Sustainability will be sponsoring events focused on environmental issues as part of Earth Week (photo courtesy of the Office of Sustainability).
Mason's Office of Sustainability will be sponsoring events focused on environmental issues as part of Earth Week (photo courtesy of the Office of Sustainability).

Established nearly 43 years ago, Earth Month began because of the urgings of Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, who believed that grassroots environmental activism was capable of causing lasting change. Now, Earth Month is celebrated all over the world, with associated festivities and activism usually concluding on April 22.

At George Mason University, Earth Month activities are promoted with sustainability events throughout the entirety of April, but with special events hosted the fourth week of the month. Many of the Earth Week events are hosted by Mason’s Office of Sustainability (OoS).

OoS was created six years ago, and is committed to creating an environmentally conscious campus. Several of its projects focus on reducing CO2 emissions, reinforcing recycling efforts and creating an organic vegetable garden on campus. The office also hosts a Living Learning Community for residential students in which they are able to expand their understanding of sustainability practices and improve Mason’s sustainability efforts.

Students of the Sustainability LLC participated in a flash mob earlier this week to promote the events of Earth Week. OoS hosts a variety of events throughout April with a focus on education and integration.

Earth Week at Mason begins on April 21 with a celebration and a Green Living Expo taking place at the Arlington campus from noon to 4 p.m. The expo will feature several exhibits about personal sustainability efforts such as energy conservation in the home and leading a “green” lifestyle. There will also be a silent auction during the expo.

On Monday, the festivities will transfer to the Prince William Campus, as they hold an Earth Day Celebration. The event, planned by University Life, extends an invitation to students and faculty to tend the community gardens on campus. Staff will be on hand to educate participants about environmental responsibility, eco-friendly lifestyles and community involvement on campus.

On Wednesday, April 24, students of the Sustainability LLC will be hosting Movie Extravaganza at the Johnson Center Cinema. Starting at 7 p.m., students of the LLC will be present to share eco-friendly living ideas, as well as sustainability efforts. The event will culminate with a screening of the Dr. Seuss classic “The Lorax.”

Thursday, two events will be hosted in Research Hall, Room 163. At 9 a.m., a Sustainable Foods event will commence with the sale of seedlings in Research Hall. Following the event, students and staff are welcomed to join in on an all day “Garden Work Party” at the Potomac Heights Vegetable Garden. At 6 p.m., the event will regroup at Research Hall with the Future Harvest’s Farmer Panel. Members of the panel will discuss the successes and pitfalls of farming, careers in the agricultural industry as well as farming opportunities in the area.

Mason’s Earth Week events will run through Saturday, April 27. Be sure to join in on all the festivities, as they are sure to engage and educate you on both environmental awareness and community involvement!

For more information and a complete list of events, visit the OoS website.

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