As it turns out, one day is never enough for the Middlebury Institute campus community to celebrate the Earth. Some years enthusiastic students have stretched Earth Day celebrations to a week, but this year, the campus community will be treated to a host of events celebrating our planet all month long.
Kickoff event Earth Festival will bring together local organizations and environmental student groups to talk about local environmental projects happening in the community, efforts to make the campus more sustainable, and how to engage in sustainable living. The festival, to be held on the Holland Patio on Thursday afternoon, April 4th, will feature tables hosted by on-campus groups related to environmentalism, such as the International Environmental Policy degree program, the Our Green Thumb Community Garden, and others, to share resources and information related to environmental projects and sustainable living on campus. The event will also feature local environmental organizations sharing research and projects they are working on in the greater community, as well as ways students can get involved. Last but not least, the event will also feature games in the garden, raffles, a bike repair workshop, and live music performances by student musicians.
Other events planned for this month include documentary screenings about plant-based diets, a fair-trade snack day, cycling and kayaking events, an Earth Day trivia night, and a barbeque. In addition, there are several lectures by visiting speakers planned on topics such as energy and cyber security, zero waste living, climate change, and environmental policy.
Earth Festival is not only an event designed to educate students about environmentalism on campus, but also to connect students to local environmental movements. Erin Lannon MAIEP ’19 emphasizes that the organizers “are hoping that students will be talking to the organizations, maybe getting involved, and learning what projects are happening in the area, because although we do have a lot of interdisciplinary programs here at MIIS, we’d really like to facilitate getting students more involved on a local level with these issues.”
Planning for Earth Month has involved participation from all degree programs and various departments on campus, and is intended to bring the community together around environmental awareness-raising. “Hopefully, people will learn about sustainable behavior,” shares Farid Kayali MAIEP ’20, one of the event organizers. “and about our efforts that we are doing to make our community more sustainable. It’s not just IEP students who are participating. We really want people to realize that very small efforts can make a big change.”
Earth Day inspires a full week of student-sponsored events, from conversations about green energy to a film festival focused on oceans and water resources.
As it has for several years now, the Middlebury Institute community’s celebration of Earth Day spanned more than a week of environment-focused activities and events hosted by various clubs and departments.
Each year, the Middlebury Institute community hosts a week-long celebration of our planet in connection with Earth Day, ranging from practical guides for sustainable daily practices to scientific lectures to lively debates about eating habits.