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Celebrating Earth Week 2011

Green fun for everyone

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The Earth Week 2011 GSU Plaza Celebration will feature games, activities, free food, and plenty of swag. Photos by Vernon Doucette

Time to celebrate that planet every earthling knows and loves. Boston University is marking Earth Week 2011 with a lineup of activities, games, food tastings, and free stuff across campus.

Dining halls kicked off the week on Monday by serving local, organic, sustainably harvested food, complete with maps tracing the food’s paths to BU.

Ocean Spray visited the George Sherman Union Link on Tuesday to give away Craisin samples and explain how their cranberries are harvested on Cape Cod.

Here’s a look at what’s going on along Commonwealth Avenue the rest of the week.

Wednesday, April 20
Ever wonder where all those dining halls food scraps go? Find out from student volunteers who will be posted alongside the dish belt at every dining hall during lunch hours to talk trash (reduction) and discuss the benefits of composting.

Sargent College will give away Sargent Choice Stonyfield yogurt fruit parfaits at the GSU Link and provide information about the health and environmental benefits of different foods.

The Environmental Student Organization will screen the documentary One Water at 7:30 p.m. in the College of Arts & Sciences Room B12. The film discusses the global water crisis and addresses the central question of whether water is a human right or a commodity.

Thursday, April 21
Tomorrow will be the biggest day in BU’s Earth Week 2011 celebration, with many events centered at the GSU Plaza from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Come hungry and curious.

Dining Services will host a chowder cook-off with eight campus chefs showcasing their recipes. Cabot Creamery will provide cheese samples. Smaht Fahm, from Lunenburg, Mass., will sell honey, eggs, and beeswax. And Ward’s Berry Farm, of Sharon, Mass., will have a sign-up for its community-supported agriculture program at the BU Farmers Market, which runs every Thursday from June 9 through November 3 at the GSU Plaza. Interested shareholders can pay in advance for an entire season ($18 per box of produce) or opt ifor the week-by-week program ($20 per box).

Drop off gently used goods at Goodwill, which will set up a room display made entirely of reused items.

And bring used small electronics, water filters, batteries, ink cartridges, and light bulbs to Recycling Café’s table. Those who bring a reusable travel mug will walk away with free Starbucks coffee.

Next Step Living, the home energy efficiency company, will be signing up homeowners for a free energy audit. For homes that need insulation, the Mass Save program will foot 75 percent of the cost up to $2,000.

Photo by: Vernon Doucette for  Boston University.

Photo by: Vernon Doucette for Boston University.

West Campus is hosting a block party in tandem with the GSU Plaza celebration. Tables will line Commonwealth Avenue from the College of Fine Arts building to StuVi and offer a variety of activities, games, and free food and drinks. (The party will move to Agganis Arena in case of rain.)

Passersby can participate in a book swap at the School of Hospitality Administration, finger paint tree leaves with College of General Studies students, or learn how to reduce water use at FitRec. Landry’s Bicycles, the Red Cross, and the Cupcakery food van are among organizations with tables at the block party.

Join the block party’s interactive games and be entered into a raffle for gift cards and goodies from places like T’s Pub, Blue State Coffee, and Panera.

How much seafood is too much seafood? Les Kaufman, a CAS professor of biology, will moderate a panel discussion on seafood sustainability with guests from the New England Aquarium and the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance. The event, which will be in the GSU’s second floor conference room from 6 to 8 p.m., also includes a screening of End of the Line, a documentary on the impact of overfishing on oceans.

Friday, April 22
With gas prices soaring and nuclear reactors bubbling in Japan, it’s time to talk energy. The Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, the CAS department of geography and environment, and the Clean Energy and Environmental Sustainability Initiative will host Geographies of Energy, the eighth seminar in the Sawyer Series on Energy Transitions and Society. Featured speakers include Peter O’Connor (GRS’12), Pardee Center postdoctoral fellow Rania Ghosn, Cutler Cleveland, a CAS professor of geography and environment and a Pardee Center research fellow, and Pardee Center director Adil Najam, the Frederick S. Pardee Professor of Global Public Policy and a CAS professor of geography and environment and of international relations. The event will be from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Pardee House, 67 Bay State Rd. Those interested in attending should contact organizers at pardee@bu.edu.

Everyone deserves a treat for making it to the end of the week. The North Andover, Mass., bakery Bake ’n Joy will provide samples of its sustainable goods in the GSU Link.

Visit sustainability@BU for more information and a full list of groups participating in Earth Week 2011.

Leslie Friday can be reached at lfriday@bu.edu; follow her on Twitter at @lesliefriday.

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