"Earth Matters" at Moravian

College celebrates fortieth Earth Day with series of green events

Earth Day, officially April 22, has arrived early at Moravian College. To celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Earth Day and to promote sustainability on campus, the College is hosting a series of green events, called "Earth Matters."

"Originally we planned to recognize Earth Day like everyone else. But back in January, we decided to do more than just a one-day celebration," said Ann Claussen, director of Haupert Union Building and event management and a member of the Sustainability Committee. "'Earth Matters, Spring 2010' offers an exciting line-up to celebrate the earth as we approach the fortieth anniversary of Earth Day."

The events have been planned by the Sustainability Committee in cooperation with the Moravian environmental studies program, Multi-Faith Council, Environmental Coalition, and career development office. Highlights of upcoming events include:

  • Wednesday, March 24: Organic Dinner. Dining Hall, 4:30-7:00 p.m. Menu features all organic foods, many locally grown. Open to entire campus community.
  • Saturday, March 27: Earth Hour/Lights Out. Soccer Field, 8:00-9:00 p.m. Environmental Coalition plans a glow-in-the-dark celebration with Frisbees and outdoor activities that require no electricity for one hour.
  • Through March 27: Recyclemania. For the first time, Moravian is participating in Recyclemania—a two month-long competition of more than 600 colleges and universities. Advised by Shari Dunham, assistant professor of chemistry, EnviroCo is spearheading the Moravian effort to track trash and recyclables on campus.
  • Thursday, April 8: Green. Haupert Union Building UBC Room, 8:00 p.m. This award-winning documentary follows the plight of a female orangutan who has lost her home in an Indonesian rainforest due to logging for palm oil plantations. FREE and open to the public.
  • Tuesday, April 13: "A Reading and Talk by Author Ginger Strand: Inventing Niagara: Beauty, Power, and Lies."Haupert Union Building, UBC Room, 7:30 p.m. Strand’s book Inventing Niagara explores the exploitation of Niagara Falls to attract tourists and generate hydroelectricity, contributing to the severe environmental degradation of the region. Strand has published essays and fiction in publications such as Harper's, The Believer, The Iowa Review, The New England Review, and Orion, where she is a contributing editor. Her visit is co-hosted by the Moravian College English Department. FREE and open to the public.
  • Wednesday, April 14: Strand will speak to students in "Creative Nonfiction," "Fiction Writing," and "Writing and/as Activism" classes.
  • Tuesday, April 20: Jim Lyon '76, National Wildlife Federation vice president for conservation policy. "Beyond 40 Earth Days: Are We Standing On The Ledge, Or The Bridge?" Prosser Auditorium, 7:30 p.m. Moravian College political science graduate will speak about Earth Day, conservation, and his work at NWF. FREE and open to the public.
  • Thursday, April 22, EARTH DAY: Tree planting ceremony. Noon (campus location to be announced). Ceremony will include a musical performance and prayer on behalf of the earth. Tree(s) will be purchased with funds from the "Climate Crises: Past, Present, and Future" class, reserved to offset their carbon emissions. Recyclables Art Contest. HUB lounge, time to be announced. All members of the campus community are invited to participate in this fun event! Turn trash into treasure using recyclable materials to create art, onsite. Bring your imagination—materials will be provided. Green awards will be presented. Seed Giveaway. EnviroCo distributing flower seed packets in the HUB.

Moravian is growing greener, thanks largely to the cooperation of many academic and administrative departments across campus, Moravian students, alumni, and the backing of President Thomforde, said Claussen. "Frank Kuserk, chair of the Sustainability Committee, has made a real effort to involve students, and that's making a difference," she said. "I think we have the right formula for the future."