The University of San Diego’s commitment to “Be Blue, Go Green” isn’t just words, it’s an every day pledge. Students, staff, faculty and administrators take a pro-active role regarding commodities such as energy and water conservation. There are programs designed to educate on issues such as recycling or taking alternative means of transportation to school or work — things that everyone can do.
On April 12, USD was recognized by the San Diego City Council with a proclamation for “USD Sustainability Day in San Diego.” It recognized the university for its conservation efforts this past year, which among several projects, includes one of the largest solar panel installations on a college campus.
The global Earth Day is celebrated on April 22, but USD is getting the jump on it by offering a week of events to spotlight sustainability on campus and educational and fun ways for the community to get involved. Furthermore, USD is preparing for the grand opening of its e-recycling center on April 20.
Here’s a complete list of USD’s Earth Week events, April 14-20, and a special event hosted by USD’s Biology Club on April 23:
Thursday, April 14: Lemon Zestival, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Student Life Pavilion Plaza Menor. Celebrate Earth Week with USD Dining Services and join in the movement toward a healthier and more sustainable community. Come to our Lemon Zestival to enjoy free citrus-themed foods, games, prizes, and entertainment, and learn about how Dining Services is promoting a greener campus.
Thursday, April 14: Free Bicycle Tune-up, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (appointments preferred) at the Experiential Learning and Adventure Center. To prepare for the Sustainable Transportation Day (April 19), bring your bike to the Experiential Learning and Adventure Center in University Center, Room 136, and get a free tune-up so you’re ready to ride. Please call extension 4709 on campus for an appointment.
Friday, April 15: “Green” Day in the Valley, 4-7 p.m., Mission Crossroads and Valley Field. Come play, learn, and win activities geared towards green living. There will be a rock climbing wall, live music, green activities, free food and drinks, and raffle drawings. Also, come do arts and crafts using cardboard, water bottles, old clothes and materials to create something new and fantastic. Students will get raffle tickets for participating in activities and for bringing clothes to donate or recycle. Prizes include gift cards, massages and more.
Friday, April 15: Short and Sustainable Film Festival, 8-9 p.m., SLP Plaza Mayor. Come and enjoy five short films, short discussions, and sustainable giveaways like a recycled bike and other prizes.
Saturday, April 16: City of Linda Vista Multicultural Fair, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Linda Vista Road (between Comstock and Ulric streets). USD, a sponsor of this annual parade and festive occasion, will have a booth at the fair and will provide information and giveaways to promote the Student Residential Energy Efficiency Team and encourage sign-ups for home energy audits. USD will also promote its new Electronic Recycling Center which debuts on April 20. Transportation tip: Catch the MTA Bus No. 44 at USD’s West and Main Entrances to get to the fair.
Sunday, April 17: Earth Fair 2011, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Balboa Park. The university, which is a sponsor of this event, will have a booth featuring marine biology’s hands-on touch tank and information about the new Electronic Recycling Center on campus. This is the last chance to get information and giveaways for the Student Residential Energy Efficiency Team and their in-home energy audits. Transportation tip: Trams will run between USD’s University Center and the Earth Fair on the hour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Meet in front of the UC.
Sunday, April 17: Founders Chapel Mass, 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., Founders Chapel. The Palm Sunday masses will include a special focus on sustainability and prayers for the environment. All are welcome to attend.
Monday, April 18: Gardening and Sunset Dinner, 4-7 p.m., behind Missions Crossroads. Help with the community garden and then enjoy eating some free samples while enjoying the sunset. The samples will include pasta, fresh fruits and vegetables and dessert. Some of the food will be supplied by USD’s own garden behind Missions Crossroads. Come learn about gardening, fresh recipes, living sustainably and getting involved.
Tuesday, April 19: Sustainable Transportation Day — Bike/Walk/Carpool, breakfast 7-10 a.m., Aromas Lawn. Get to school or work in a sustainable way today and enjoy a complimentary breakfast at Aromas’ lawn as a “thank you” from the Earth Week Planning Committee. Tip: Don’t forget to get a free bike tune-up at the Experiential Learning and Adventure Center in UC 136 on April 14.
Tuesday, April 19: USD Earth Fair, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in front of the University Center and Student Life Pavilion. More than 25 vendors and organizations will be on campus to provide information on how to live sustainably — at work and at home — and how to lessen your environmental impact. Get your raffle tickets for a new electric bike ($1,200 value) donated by Green Cruiser Inc. The raffle is at 1 p.m. and you must be present to win.
Wednesday, April 20: E-Recycling Center Kickoff, 7 a.m.-7 p.m., 5330 Linda Vista Road. Bring your old electronics for a chance to get something new! Bring old cell phones, computers, monitors and other e-waste and be entered to win a new iPad2. This all-day event is the grand opening of USD’s new, safe, secure and socially responsible e-waste collection facility.
Thursday-Friday (April 14-15), Monday-Tuesday (April 18-19): Bike Share Stations. Sign up to use electric bicycles for free to ride across campus and turn them in at another station near your final destination. These bikes are available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at various campus locations on April 14-15 and April 18-19.
Saturday, April 23: The Great Cloth Diaper Change (Guinness World Record attempt), 9 a.m, Hahn University Center. This event is not on the official USD Earth Week schedule, but it is an environmental event that makes a big impact. The Great Cloth Diaper Change will take place around the world (9 a.m. Pacific) to try and set a Guinness World Record for most cloth diaper changes simultaneously. The USD Biology Club is one of three San Diego-area host sites for the event. It’s geared to promote to expecting and new parents that using cloth diapers is a more environmentally friendly and cost-effective item than regular diapers. More information can be found by clicking here.
Photos courtesy of Nick Abadilla