What it means to be green

Earth week poster

By Zachary Nelson
At the University of Washington Bothell, sustainability is a priority. It’s in this spirit that UW Bothell turns Earth Day into a week-long celebration, April 16-22. This year the University, in coordination with Cascadia College, is putting on its most expansive Earth Week celebration to date. Students, faculty, staff and local businesses will come together through a variety of activities and events to learn about what it means to be green.

Alexa Russo

Alexa Russo

“We are going all out this year at Earth Week with events going on all day everyday throughout the week,” said Alexa Russo, interim sustainability coordinator and a recent UW Bothell graduate (environmental studies ‘17).

“There will be a plethora of activities that will be immersive and interactive but most of all informative. If you are on campus at all during Earth Week, you will have the opportunity to participate, even if that just means looking at artwork or reading a handout.”

Thursday, April 19, will be the biggest day of the week, with music from UWAVE Radio, food from Taco Time and more than 30 community partners showcasing their sustainability work on the Promenade and Plaza. These community partners are eager to talk with students about how they prioritize “green behavior.” In some cases, they may even have internship opportunities available.

“To top the day off, there will be an electric vehicle car show on campus,” said Russo.

Another event — the Free Little Library Launch at the Food Forest on Tuesday at 1 p.m. — will bring new activity to campus. The "library" is a small box with books that students have gathered to share with the community. Anyone will be able to take or add books. Part of a worldwide network of more than 60,000 such libraries, this “branch” will be on campus permanently.

The Wetlands Photo Exhibit will be in the library all week. The photos will include aerial shots featuring images of the wetlands throughout the years. From pre-restoration to the current time, these photos illustrate how the wetlands have been brought back to life. “Our wetlands are an amazing display of life and restoration,” Russo said.

The week doesn’t end on Friday either. Events continue Saturday and Sunday for students who live on campus or just want to experience more. For example, on Sunday from 7-9 p.m., organizers have arranged for a free showing of the film “Chasing Coral” in the North Creek Events Center.

“No matter what people do during Earth Week, we hope that they will learn something from an event we are putting on,” Russo said. “If many people make even small efforts to become eco-friendlier, the impact will be noticeable."

Anyone is welcome to create an event or volunteer on open projects. For a full list of events — including opportunities to volunteer — check the Earth Week website.

earth week garden