The celebrated Earth Week with a variety of environmentally conscious activities to reinforce the idea of sustainability on our campus. The week began on Friday April 17 with an outdoor concert on the UC Front Lawn featuring environmental activist and singer songwriter, Penn Johnson. He along with his band sang songs that included educational lyrics about the environmental impacts of fracking. The week continued with activities such as a “rake and bake” with the CLIP Garden Club which presented opportunity to plant on Lehigh’s soil, screenings of environmentally educating movies, lectures on how to eat more “green,” and sustainability workshops working on improving Lehigh’s future sustainability efforts. This year’s annual Earth Day fair also took place in Lamberton Hall due to this year’s inclement weather. The fair included booths organized by a variety of students and faculty offering environmental initiative facts, free giveaways and prizes, opportunities to plant personal pots, and many more environmentally friendly activities. Students that attended the Earth Day fair enjoyed learning about each group’s initiative while circling the booths.
Kristiana Barr ‘16, Green Action and Eco-Reps member took part in organizing this year’s earth week activities and recalls one in particular where students gathered on the STEPS lawn and made their own trail mix in a mason jar. Barr notes, “We’re trying to develop a campus that will be here for another 150 years.” Her involvement in sustainability groups on campus came naturally as an Environmental Studies major, and she feels that it’s an important mission to take on when representing Lehigh’s institution. Perspective students are constantly asking about sustainability efforts on campus and Barr notes that this issue “could affect our rankings and the type of students we bring in.” Aside from last week’s activities sustainability on campus can be achieved everyday as explained by Katie Klaniecki, the program coordinator of sustainability at Lehigh. “Walking to class and taking alternative transportation to your work day” is one of the small things we can do as students to minimize excess fossil fuels and waste. Although the earth week festivities were a huge success this year, Katie notes that they are working on a new plan with the help of the sustainability workshops to further improve green actions on campus.