Presenting events such as a pie-throwing contest, the Clean Energy Carnival and a variety of other programs, campus organizers hope to increase future conservation efforts by hosting the UCSB Campus Sustainability Week.
The Week, which begins today and ends on Friday, focuses on reducing students’ environmental impact. Groups such as CalPIRG and the Associated Students Environmental Affairs Board, as well as academic departments like the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management are hosting the festivities.
Sustainability Coordinator Katie Maynard said the events serve to update and educate the public on environmental issues.
“Our Campus Sustainability Week, which has been going on for three years now, helps raise awareness for our impact on the environment,” Maynard said. “There’s a lot of work that the staff and faculty are already doing behind the scenes that aren’t made known to the public. This week allows us to get students to be more active and show them that there are many options [for involvement].”
During the course of this week, CalPIRG will present several events, including a Clean Energy Carnival at the Arbor on Tuesday and Thursday.
Second-year political science major and CalPIRG member Jordan Haedtler said the carnival is a way to inform students about the organization’s current efforts to change environmental legislation.
“Our group wants the House to add renewable energy to the final energy bill and to help do that, we want students to know about the situation at hand,” Haedtler said. “We’ll have a bunch of booths set up, which will talk about certain issues, such as solar and wind power.”
Haedtler also said the event’s highlight is the Clean Energy Quiz. He said the quiz is a fun way to test one’s knowledge and let participants throw several whipped cream pies – baked only with solar energy – at cardboard cutouts of lobbyists.
Second-year business economics major Anna Li said she hopes the week encourages students to get involved in environmental concerns.
“I want to have people know that we do have this week so that they can actually realize that people are involved with the preservation of the environment,” Li said. “Getting them to know and getting them to care from the bottom of their hearts is crucial to me because this is their second home and it’s really important for them to care and love it.”
Additionally, Maynard said this week is just the kick-off event for future sustainability improvements at UCSB.
“There are a number of projects that are on their way, one of them being a new recycling program at the Recreational Center,” Maynard said. “We are also trying to think of alternative ways to reduce energy usage on campus.”
Each day’s activities are coordinated around a specific theme. Today is “Zero Waste Day,” Tuesday serves as “Energy and the Built Environment Day,” Wednesday’s events concern “Food Sustainability,” Thursday revolves around “Transportation and Water,” with the week culminating in Friday’s “Curriculum and Research” activities.