Earthstock 2013: Stony Brook University Commemorates Earth Day with its Annual Celebration!
by Sakib Ahmed
The annual Earthstock event at Stony Brook University officially kicked off on April 15th with a week of Earthstock exhibits. The exhibits included various guest lectures, including one on Ecological Restoration in Urban Estuaries by Rachel Gruzen, a Sustainability Studies Alumni Career Panel and the Earthstock Exhibit on the Academic Mall on Friday, April 19th.
The Earthstock festival sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs and other organizations on campus is designed to highlight the importance of sustainability and environmental conservation. Over 50 organizations set up displays this year, and environmental organizations such as Stony Brook University's Environmental Club, School of Marine & Atmospheric Sciences (SOMAS), Campus Dining Services, the Office of Sustainability, Facilities & Services and others participated in the festivities. Many of the events were reminiscent of past Earthstocks, with the familiar Mayan rain dancers, drum circles and animal pettings as well as the rubber duck race at the Administration Building fountain.
This year, the Office of Sustainability set up multiple tables along with the Department of Campus Operations & Maintenance, Custodial Services and Recycling & Resource Management to order to showcase the various sustainability initiatives implemented at the University. The staff of each Department actively participated in the event by meeting with students, faculty, staff and visitors in order to educate each on its environmental initiatives. Each Department also incorporated informational poster-boards displaying energy, cost and CO2 emissions reductions from various sustainability initiatives, including the recently installed energy efficient hand dryers, energy efficient lighting upgrades, hybrid/biodiesel vehicles and various recycling efforts.
The Office of Sustainability table allowed students to participate in trivia games to test their knowledge of sustainability; with questions ranging from the quantity of wasted recycled on during RecycleMania to the energy savings from the various lighting upgrade projects. Those visitors' who answered correctly, won reusable sports bottles, mugs, t-shirts and other prizes. James O'Connor, Director of Sustainability & Transportation Operations, believed 2013's event was exceptional, stating, "There is always be a need to introduce, communicate and educate individuals about the environment and sustainable initiatives, and what better place to do this than at Earthstock, which is a true celebration of Earth Day. Earthstock provides us with the opportunity to inform the campus community and visitors of all of the great initiatives that help reduce our impact on the natural environment."
A new addition to the Earthstock 2013 Exhibit was a new event called "Sustain-A-Thon", which consisted of multiple relay races that incorporated the concept of recycling. Students had to hop in reusable shopping bags, properly recycle plastic and other waste, while navigating a series of obstacles.
“The recycling relay incorporates the competitive nature of the residential quads and undergraduate colleges and is a fun, informative, and truly festive part of our annual experience. Ultimately, we are here to educate our community about being environmental stewards so that this learning and day to day knowledge helps to translate into what we do in our respective communities abroad.” Said Michael Youdelman, Manager of Recycling amp; Resource Management.
The Earthstock celebration is just one way of many that Stony Brook University organizes in order to bring its community together, educate them on sustainability and inspire attendees to become better environmental stewards of the future.
For more information on about this event, please contact:
Stony Brook University
Office of Sustainability