Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

EarthFest 2013, U-M's annual party for the planet, set for Sept. 19

The campus community will continue its annual tradition of partying for the planet at EarthFest, Sept. 19 on the Diag.


This year's event will include free food, games, giveaways and live entertainment by popular Ann Arbor singer-songwriter Theo Katzman, a graduate of the School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

Leading up to the celebration, Planet Blue is hosting a social media contest for staff, faculty and students on Facebook and Twitter with chances to win sustainability related prizes.

"EarthFest provides a festive atmosphere for the campus community to get engaged with sustainability efforts on campus, and learn about the progress we've made toward our long-term goals," said Andy Berki, manager of the Office of Campus Sustainability.


A U-M student makes his personal pledge to sustainability at EarthFest 2012. (Photo by Lisa Pappas, Graham Sustainability Institute)


The event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and will focus on U-M sustainability efforts in four areas: climate action, waste prevention, healthy environments and community awareness.

Each focus area will include a combination of informed representatives from campus departments, student organizations and the local community available to answer questions.

"An important part of becoming more sustainable is finding ways in which we can collaborate and make the process more enjoyable," said Marissa Silverberg, one of the event volunteers and a junior in the Program in the Environment.

"EarthFest shows the multiple ways in which one can get involved and can open students' eyes about the great things that are happening on campus due to the efforts of their peers."

Event highlights include:

• MHealthy chef demonstrations using local ingredients.

• An opportunity to make a photo pledge to sustainability.

• Free, local snacks such as apples and doughnuts from Washtenaw Dairy.

• "Green" games and activities including recycling-themed corn hole and Matthaei Botanical Frisbee toss.

EarthFest is organized by students and staff led by the Office of Campus Sustainability. The event strives to be zero-waste, and supports the university's broader sustainability initiative known as Planet Blue.

U-M has been celebrating the planet for nearly 20 years. At EarthFest 2011, President Mary Sue Coleman strengthened the university's sustainability commitment with the announcement a $14 million investment toward ambitious environmental goals.