Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, September 10, 2012

U-M will party for the planet at EarthFest 2012

One year after President Mary Sue Coleman announced major sustainability goals, students, faculty and staff will gather once again for the annual celebration for the planet at EarthFest.


The event will occur between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sept. 20 on the Diag, and will focus on sustainability at U-M in the four focus areas representing the goals: climate action, waste prevention, healthy environments and community awareness.

Each focus area will include a combination of informed representatives available to answer questions from campus departments, student organizations and the local community. Events include chef demonstrations using local ingredients, entertainment, giveaways and an appearance by Rufus, the university's recycling mascot.

"EarthFest brings the entire campus together to educate and motivate our students, faculty and staff on sustainability," says Terry Alexander, executive director of the Office of Campus Sustainability. "It's a great opportunity to increase awareness of the many ways to get involved in creating a more sustainable campus, and to showcase the progress we've made toward meeting the goals."

Other event highlights include:

• An opportunity to make a photo pledge to sustainability.

• Free, local snacks such as apples, doughnuts and cider.

• "Green" games and activities including recycling-themed cornhole and T-shirt crafts.

In addition to EarthFest, the university has several other projects and programs under way supportive of the sustainability goals that will have a presence at the event, including:

• Launch of the Planet Blue water bottle initiative and added infrastructure to support the use of reusable water bottles on campus.

• Implementation of Blue Bikes, the campus' new bicycle-rental program, and the arrival of the remaining hybrid buses.

• Greater emphasis on the purchase and use of local produce and ingredients on campus, and the offering of MFarmers' Markets in the Union.

EarthFest is student led and organized with the assistance of the Office of Campus Sustainability. The event strives to be zero-waste. This marks the 17th year the event has been held on campus. Previously, it was known as EnergyFest.