Earth Week’s interactive events raise environmental awareness

As part of the initiative for a sustainable and eco-friendly campus, the executive board of Geneseo Environmental Organization organized Earth Week from Sunday April 19–Friday April 24. GEO organizers strove to provide resources and information on becoming more environmentally aware.

“We want to make people conscious of their actions,” GEO Student Association representative senior Bella Rabinovich said. “Most of the time, students just aren’t aware of what to do.”

Earth Week included the fourth annual, two-mile Walk for Water—organized by Putnam “EcoHouse” Hall and National Residence Hall Honorary—on Sunday April 19. All proceeds went to the charity Water, an organization that builds wells in developing communities all around the world.

In addition, GEO also hosted the Genesee Valley Co-op to discuss living sustainably. They also presented a screening and discussion of The Lost Bird Project—a movie centered on the role humans have in the extinction of birds—with filmmakers on Monday April 20.

In an effort to highlight the importance of recycling, GEO organized an Interactive Dumpster Dive on Tuesday April 21, encouraging student bystanders to participate. The Interactive Dumpster Dive served as a performance art category in Geneseo Recognizing Excellence, Achievement and Talent Day. Members of GEO dressed in white suits and masks that protected them when they dug through the garbage bags.

“We sifted through garbage bags from residence halls and academic buildings—any building on campus—and we weighed it before and then after digging through it to see what could have been recycled,” GEO sustainability representative junior Summer Stratton recounted. 

“You could see piles of how much students and faculty could have recycled,” Rabinovich added.

“Part of the problem is that no one knows what’s going on, and we try to do the best we can to tell people what’s going on with our earth and what they can do about it,” Stratton said. “For Earth Week, we try to highlight the main environmental issues that the world is facing today, but we can’t cover them all. It’s important to learn and educate campus.”

GEO organizes events throughout the year to promote environmentalism. This includes the Kill-a-Watt Cup, where students compete to see who can save the most energy by turning off their lights. The winner of this year’s contest will be announced on Friday April 24. GEO also organizes trips to New York City for the People’s Climate March.

In celebration of Earth Day on Wednesday April 22, GEO hosted “Live Green Day Expo” where keynote speaker Joel Reynolds of the Natural Resources Defense Council presented a lecture on The New Environmental Advocacy.” A panel discussion titled “Money, Politics and the Environment” discussion will be presented Thursday April 24. Earth Week will conclude on Friday April 24 with an EcoHouse potluck dinner and Jamnesty concert.

“We try to make Earth Week fun and accessible to everyone,” Rabinovich said. “We try to get people to come to our events because you learn a lot even if you think you know about the topic.”