We’re all tired of those holidays like “National Pet Day” that are really just opportunities for people to exploit cute photos of their pets, siblings, etc. on social media, but fortunately there was a real, important day in April with a message that we can all get behind – Earth Day.
The month of April was designated as Earth Month, revolving around the main event on April 22, so being “green” was a big topic of conversation. Northwestern provides ample resources to the University community and works hard to make sure campus operates sustainably year-round, but it amped up the programming during Earth Month. For example, the University offered Sustainable Campus Tours each week to explore “green features” on campus, and it hosted a Scavenger Hunt on April 23 to provide a more fun and interactive way to learn about sustainability. Also, NU Dining hosted Sustainable Seafood Week at Foster-Walker East dining hall and a Fresh Market at Norris, among other events last month to promote clean eating and spread awareness about sustainable food practices.
One way students could celebrate Earth Month was by participating in Bike 2 Campus Week from April 21-28, which incorporated a little friendly competition between universities in the Chicagoland area, including Loyola University and University of Chicago. The goal was to take as many trips on your bike as you could during the week (from your house on Foster to your 10:00 a.m. class in Tech, for example), and then log those trips on the Bike 2 Campus website to help Northwestern try to win the challenge. Check the website to follow the results! The events continued on campus with a bike tune-up station on April 24, where University police were on hand to register bikes and sell bike locks to encourage more riding. The point of the challenge was to motivate the Northwestern community to use more sustainable, Earth-friendly methods of travel during that week, and then encourage them to continue using these practices throughout the rest of the year.
To help make that happen, Northwestern has other resources and ways to making biking easier and more fun. For instance, check out Northwestern’s sustainability map, which shows Divvy bike stations and bike racks on campus – it’s a great resource for students who love to bike.
So don’t forget about “being green” just because Earth Month is over – and keep in mind that there are many ways to help the environment no matter what time of year it is. Take this quiz to find out how "green" you really are!