Living Our Values- Earth Week 2015

EW2015“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall

These poignant words are realized daily by the environmental and sustainability student community at the University of California, Berkeley. With an estimated 26% of undergraduate students annually completing at least one sustainability-focused course, as well as funding an award-winning campus green fund, and leading more than 35 thriving environmental and sustainability student organizations, UC Berkeley students go well beyond mere “green interest” and choose to engage, question, educate, change, and inspire towards a more sustainable and resilient world.

The culmination of these student actions is most prominent during UC Berkeley’s annual Earth Week celebration. Earth Day has long been a staple of UC Berkeley history, but the organization of a holistic and educational Earth Week has become priority in recent years thanks to the Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC) and its coordination of the Earth Week Planning Committee.

More than 40 events, programs, and initiatives are scheduled for Earth Week 2015. Highlights include the 12th annual CACS Sustainability Summit, open garden hours at the Student Organic Garden, a cooking demo with New York Times journalist and food writer Mark Bittman, educational sessions focused on energy and business, sustainable investing, and energy conservation, film screenings of “Cowspiracy”, “Interstellar” and “Thirsty for Justice”, Solar Dance, Water Watch, and Kombucha parties, Zero Waste Games, and a creek restoration event.

Collaboration among students, campus partners, and local community members is at the core of each event, and is truly the key to actualizing “the sustainability of sustainability” beyond this single week each year. As UC Berkeley’s renowned Office of Sustainability & Energy has ingrained a campus-wide culture of sustainability, students have designated Earth Week as the time to rejuvenate passion and activism, celebrate partnership, reflect on personal values and civic responsibility, and renew a community-wide commitment to the life-long work that must be done. How truly inspiring it is to witness students embodying the hummingbirds in Dr. Wangari Maathai’s fable, “I will be a hummingbird, I will do the best I can,” on Earth Day and every day at the University of California, Berkeley.

Katherine Walsh

Katherine Walsh is the Director of the Student Environmental Resource Center at UC Berkeley.

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