April 22, 2006

Cold and Rain for Earth Day

On our campus, we don’t just celebrate Earth Day, we have an Earth Week; students plan seven days of events designed to raise awareness about environmental issues. And today, on Earth Day itself, a student club I advise gathered for their annual meeting.

The weather was not ideal: a cold rain that kept turning to snow, and gale force winds. But despite the icy wetness, the day began with students heading outside to pick up trash.

cleanup

The afternoon included writing letters of protests to our representatives.

letterwriting

And a collaborative art project.

artproject

We had food, of course, and music – mostly guitars and singing. We built bird houses.

The students held a serious discussion in which the outgoing seniors talked with the younger students about the history of the group and their vision for the future. They talked about different types of activism, and which types they felt comfortable with. Many kept saying that they want to figure out ways to avoid debates because the debate format just gets people more entrenched in the ideas they already hold. One young woman said she sees no purpose to arguments in which neither side is listening to the other, and students nodded in agreement. They talked about ways to make connections between campus and community, and to connect peace issues to environmental issues.

Despite the howling wind and the rain that kept pouring down outside, the students were upbeat and confident, and the room was filled with warm energy as they made plans for the future.

10 comments:

listmaker said...

Too bad the weather was so lousy; maybe the rest of Earth Week will be better. Yesterday was such a beautiful day in Snowstorm City. RebelliousTeenager enjoyed his visit and hanging around with the college students. I can't help but wonder if he passed you or if it was some of your students he played frisbee with. Your students sound like such caring, committed young people.

BeachMama said...

Great way to spend Earth Day. Sorry the weather was so lousy.

PurpleDaisy said...

These are very inspiring pictures. It's so refreshing to spend a day thinking about the planet and getting people to focus more on making less of an impact.

medieval woman said...

Once again, I'm insanely impressed with how cool the people in your life are - your family, your students...I would love it if we had anything approaching and Earth Day on my campus!

peripateticpolarbear said...

:-)

Teri said...

Earth week here was the week before Earth Day - and we had glorious weather for at least part of it. It doesn't seem fair.

spiral said...

The campus where I currently work did not, to my knowledge, do anything for Earth Day. I'll have to take these ideas with me to campus where I'll be teaching next year.

KLee said...

What a great way to celebrate Earth Day -- more than just one day of raising awareness about the Earth and the problems that we're facing. I wish some of my local uni's would do something more grand than the few meager attempts they currently do. I find it very strange that my city STILL has no recycling system in place.

Kudos to your community, and your institution, for making Earth Day a more than once-a-year event.

Katie said...

Great to hear that you celebrated Earth Day!!!! Awesome!

zelda1 said...

What a great way to spend Earth Day. I like the idea of building bird houses. When I was a preteen, I was in a farming group of teens and one year we made bird houses and went around the different areas of our rural community and put them up for people. A few months ago, I was at my sister's mother in law's house and I noticed a very old and shabby looking birdhouse and asked if that was one that we had made and my sister said it was and I stood looking at it and remembered all the fun and then a tiny little bird carrying twigs flew into his slum house. HA! I wanted to take it down and at least paint it, but it was still serving a purpose. Let me see, that birdhouse is, almost 42 years old.