Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, September 20, 2010

EarthFest celebrates and puts focus on U-M sustainability efforts

The university is planning “a party for the planet” this week with EarthFest, two days of activities designed to educate students, faculty and staff about all things related to sustainability at U-M.


EarthFest events will take place from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday on the Central Campus Diag, and from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday on North Campus at The Grove.

Highlights include:

• A large pile of trash from a campus building will be sorted by volunteers on the Diag. Several cubic yards will be sorted as a striking illustration of what can be recycled versus what is sent to a landfill.

• Attendees will have the opportunity to draw on and sign a 4-by-10-foot pledge banner as a show of commitment to undertaking sustainable practices, such as conserving energy, reducing water consumption, actively recycling and other actions.

• U-M student entertainment groups will perform on both days.

• Representatives from the U-M Integrated Assessment (IA) teams will update attendees on the latest news regarding that campuswide project to identify and work toward specific sustainability goals. They also will discuss actions related to Phase II of the IA that will be take place this fall.

EarthFest is a new name for the annual fall celebration formerly known as EnergyFest. The event also will serve as the soft launch for expanding the Planet Blue brand identity to encompass U-M's overall sustainability promotion.

The celebration fits in with U-M’s commitment to sustainability in the classroom, the laboratory and its business operations, which was outlined by President Mary Sue Coleman outlined in her 2009 State of the University address.