September 9, 2016
The University of Michigan campus community will continue its annual tradition of partying for the planet at EarthFest, Sept. 21 on the Central Campus Diag.
This year's event takes place 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and will include giveaways, free food, informational booths, chef demonstrations and live entertainment by Madelyn Grant, a 2015 LSA graduate and former event organizer.
Leading up to the celebration, Planet Blue is hosting a social media contest for faculty, staff and students on Facebook and Twitter with chances to win sustainability related prizes.
"Faculty and staff are highly encouraged to come learn about the campus sustainability goals and ways to get involved," says Barbara Hagan, sustainability representative in the Office of Campus Sustainability. "EarthFest brings together many offices, groups and organizations that work on sustainability initiatives and aim to engage the community."
EarthFest is designed to highlight the university's 2025 sustainability goals: climate action, waste prevention, healthy environments and community awareness. Attendees can learn about these initiatives and efforts and how to get involved in sustainability on campus.
At each entrance to the Diag, attendees are encouraged to pick up a magnet puzzle that highlights the goals. Participants who swipe their MCard will be entered to win an iPad.
Designed to be a fun and interactive event, EarthFest strives to be zero-waste and supports the university's broader sustainability initiative known as Planet Blue. Highlights include:
• Composting and recycling bins to encourage zero waste.
• Sustainable Computing representatives will be present to showcase ways to be sustainable when using technology.
• Free, local snacks, such as donuts from Washtenaw Dairy and apples from Lesser Farms in Dexter.
• Live entertainment from noon-1 p.m.
U-M has been celebrating the planet for more than 20 years. EarthFest is organized by students and staff led by the Office of Campus Sustainability.
In 2015, President Mark Schlissel announced a $100 million investment toward more sustainable campus operations.
Efforts included expansion of the food waste composting program; creation of an investment fund to support renewable energy demonstration projects on campus; extension of the university's energy conservation program to include the U-M Health System, athletics and student housing facilities; and enhancing sustainability behavior change and engagement programs.