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BW students shine a light on sustainability with Earth Week celebration

Baldwin Wallace University's Marting Tower peaks through flowering spring treesAs April rolls back around this year, so too does the annual Earth Week in which people at Baldwin Wallace University and around the world act in the interest of preserving our planet and environment.

This year, BW students are polishing leadership and management skills as they lead a variety of events from Tuesday, April 19, to Saturday, April 23.

Each event is being planned and led by students in Dr. Jill Fleisher's spring environmental sociology class, and all are aimed at engaging the entire BW community during Earth Week.

Fleisher states, "BW Earth Week events are intended to raise awareness while also encouraging stronger social ties between members of our community. The outdoor events will focus on social, physical and environmental wellbeing."

Exciting Environmental Exploits

BW faculty and students remove invasive winter creeper from a wooded area of the Fullmer Arboretum.On Tuesday night, BW Earth Week will kick off with a bonfire at the Circle of Warmth at 6:30 p.m. Included at the bonfire will be s'mores, games and ample opportunity to socialize with fellow members of the BW community.

Wednesday will mark the beginning of a weeklong Earth Week scavenger hunt and feature a nature hike guided by members of the environmental sociology class.

The Main Event

Thursday includes the week's main event, the big Earth Week carnival. Various booths will offer different games such as a student-led Kahoot!, a game guessing how many bottle tabs there are in the jar, a recycling race and a carbon footprint test. Students even have the chance to earn a prize after completing multiple activities.

Several craft booths, including DIY T-shirt totes, dog toys, seed bombs and plastic yarn weaving, will be dedicated to recycling plastic and other waste materials into useful objects.

The carnival will also include booths for Earth Week organizations, so everyone in attendance can learn more about how to defend the environment beyond the confines of BW.

Wrapping it all up

Earth Week 2022 instagram graphicFriday's activities will include a campus clean-up and guided bingo at 5 p.m. Everyone will meet at the parking lot behind Telfer Hall, and while clean-up is not a mandatory part of the activity, it will be encouraged at bingo.

Saturday will conclude Earth Week events with lawn games, kayaking and overall general relaxation in the beauty of nature at nearby Coe Lake.

Rowan Rindfleisch Huntley '24, one of the main student event coordinators, noted, "Coordinating Earth Week has been a great challenge. I've had to supervise and bring together so many amazing organizations across campus. It has been an opportunity to refine my professional and organizational skills and bring in two things that I love - sociology and the environment."

To get live updates and more information about how we impact our planet, follow @bw_earthweek on Instagram.

Campus Sustainability

BW's commitment to sustainability was rewarded in 2019 with the prestigious STARS Silver rating from the international Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

STARS silver sustainability medalCampus sustainability efforts include a wind turbine, two solar arrays, innovative recycling efforts, a sustainable living-learning community and five geothermal fields - including the first for a college residence hall - that heat and cool campus buildings. Two buildings are LEED certified, and BW maintains a commitment to high-performance, green building design in all future building projects.

The campus is also home to more than 1,500 trees, most native to Northeast Ohio, and Fullmer Arboretum, earning BW a Tree Campus USA® designation by the Arbor Day Foundation.

A campus sustainability committee, composed of students, faculty and administrators, coordinates and encourages environmentally responsible practices that help create a more sustainable campus footprint, including composting food service waste; more efficient consumption of electricity, paper and water; the use of "green" cleaning products; and support for eco-friendly practices like bicycling.

BW also was the first college in Ohio to offer an undergraduate major in sustainability.

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