A Semester of Campus and Community Outreach and Engagement

This Spring semester, Emory students and staff engaged with the campus and community through events and activities that facilitate conversations and raise awareness about important sustainability-related topics.

The Emory Climate Organization (ECO) is a student-led organization committed to climate education and advocacy through finding intersections between climate change and a variety of other fields. In mid-March, ECO hosted Climate Week, featuring a panel of Emory delegates who attended the annual conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in November 2016, and a panel focused on environmental justice and the implications of working for justice under the new presidential administration. The documentary “Chasing Ice,” about the effects of climate change on Icelandic glaciers was screened, and the week concluded with an exhibition of climate-centered art from the United Nations meeting and photographs submitted by the Emory community.

April was Earth Month at Emory and the campus celebrated by raising awareness about environmental and social justice issues through various activities and events. Emory’s annual Earth Month Festival kicks off Earth Month and was held on March 28th this year. The festival brought together Atlanta-based non-profits, government agencies, and businesses with sustainability focused student organizations and campus departments. Students, faculty, staff and visitors connected with vendors through engaging activities that highlighted the work they are doing to promote sustainability and environmental justice in the Atlanta and Emory community. The festival also included s’mores from a solar oven, music, free food samples from local vendors, and spoken word performances from Emory students. Other Earth Month events included a panel discussion on Women’s history and progress through higher education, a film screening on the documentary Cowspiracy and discussion on climate and food justice, EarthShare of Georgia’s Earth Day Water Symposium and Career Expo, and a forum discussing Atlanta’s unique old growth forests.

On April 13th, Emory Point hosted Recycler’s Day in partnership with Emory Recycles to collect and recycle household and hazardous items from community members. The items collected included gently worn clothing, books and DVDs, furniture, games, kitchenware, musical instruments, electronic devices including computers, printers, and televisions, and paint and miscellaneous items such as carpets, lightbulbs, and printer cartridges. In November, Emory Point and Emory University hosted a similar event and collected 8,000 pounds of electronic recyclables, 200 pairs of shoes for donation to a charity, and 8 truckloads of household items for recycling.

May is National Bike Month, and Emory celebrated on May 19th by hosting a Bike to Work event at Emory Point to wrap up National Bike to Work Week (May 15-19). On the 19th, cyclists and prospective cyclists were invited to the park at Emory Point for the event. Bicycle South provided bike repairs, The General Muir provided breakfast, and instructors from Empower Yoga guided stretching for cyclists.

By Hannah Shultz, Intern
Office of Sustainability Initiatives
May 3, 2017

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