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23 April 2014

Earth Week turns campus green

Though Earth Day ended Tuesday, Student Government’s (SG) Energy and Conservation Organization (ECO) extended the carbon-footprint-reducing celebration.

Throughout the week, ECO collaborated with student organizations to prepare Earth Week, an environmental celebration and awareness effort that features a variety of sustainable initiatives and events.

“Each day of the week has a different environmental theme ranging from food to art in order to demonstrate how connected our world truly is,” said Nika Hosseini, secretary and senate liaison for the ECO agency.

The week kicked off on Monday with a biodegradable water balloon toss on the Green. The Hug the Lake event, an annual tradition organized by Random Acts of Kindness, took place Tuesday around Lake Osceola, where students, faculty and staff stood hand-in-hand surrounding the lake.

Sophomore Daniela Lorenzo attended Hug the Lake for the first time this year and enjoyed how the event brought students together at the center of campus.

“I thought it was a cool process to see so many people come together for a random moment of awareness mixed with school spirit,” she said.

On Wednesday, a food day was held at the Rock and focused on locally grown goods and the Well Canes Market.

Earth Week events are an opportunity for students to appreciate nature while learning how to help the environment.

“The main goal of Earth Week is to spread awareness as well as educate the general public about different environmental topics and issues such as learning how to reduce waste by composting or learning the personal impact one has on the Earth through a carbon footprint calculation,” Hosseini said.

From 12:30 to 2 p.m. Thursday, students can join ECO and Earth Alert, an environmental student organization at UM, for a tour and picnic at the Arboretum. Participants will be able to learn more about conservation and positively impacting the earth.

Earth Week will conclude from noon to 2 p.m. Friday with students calculating their carbon footprint at the Rock.

Elizabeth Tran, a freshman representative of ECO, hopes that students not only have fun during Earth Week but also learn ways to improve the environment.

“I hope other students will have fun participating in Earth Week and through it have a genuine desire to reduce their carbon footprint,” she said. “In the long run, I want the University of Miami to be recognized as one of the greenest schools in the nation.”