Earth Week activities promote green GW

Green University, the Student Association and other student organizations planned a week of programming designed to increase environmental awareness on campus in celebration of Earth Day April 22.

“Environmental issues are not a big concern at GW and Earth Week is a way of getting more people active,” said Mike Reigelman, a Green University representative and co-director of Earth Week activities.

Earth Week began April 16 with the Global Warming Conference on campus. The all-day conference focused on the implications of global warming and methods to reduce the emission of globe-warming gases.

Programs continued with an outdoor service project sponsored by Campus Outdoor Recreation Enthusiasts April 19. In cooperation with the Appalachian Trail Club, 12 volunteers cleaned and rebuilt the Potomac Heritage Trail on Roosevelt Island.

In addition, Earth Week coordinators and members of the Trees for GW project raised funds to purchase two acres of rain forest in Ecuador.

An Earth Week celebration on the Quad Monday provided students free barbecue and ivy plants.

At the event, residence halls were recognized for establishing and continuing recycling efforts, and awards were presented for entries in the environmental art and photography competition.

Representatives of Greenpeace discussed current environmental issues and plans for the environmental future of the University and the earth. Earth Week volunteers distributed and discussed issues like ozone depletion, acid rain and deforestation.

The School of Business and Public Management sponsored a panel discussion about “Greening Business,” which addressed the interaction between business and the environment.

Freshman Earth Week volunteer Sarah Jansan said more students participated than she imagined.

“Environmentalists you find (at GW) have strong hearts,” she said.

“Though we have a Green University office, we don’t have a Green University administration,” said Ivan Urlaub, Earth Week co-director and SA director of student environmental programs. “(Earth Week) wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the dedication of so many active student environmentalists.”

Urlaub said nearly 70 students volunteered to hand out pamphlets, set up displays and serve food at the various Earth Week activities.

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