Around Campus

UNC-Chapel Hill celebrates Earth Week

Earth Week will feature several events including a student-led fair in the Pit and a keynote lecture from award-winning climate change communicator and author Susan Joy Hassol.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will celebrate Earth Week from April 16-21 with a series of events that include an Earth Fair in the Pit, an exhibition of art made out of and about plastic, and a keynote lecture by award-winning climate change communicator and author Susan Joy Hassol.

The events include:

  • A speech by FEMA Administrator Brock Long from 4-5 p.m. on April 16 in the Pleasants Room in Wilson Library. The talk is part of the Natural Hazards Resilience Speakers Series.
  • The 2018 Earth Week Keynote address by Hassol. A reception begins at 4:30 p.m. and the lecture begins at 5:30 p.m. on April 17 in the Genome Science Building, in room 100. Hassol’s speech is called Effectively Communicating Climate Science to Spur Action.
  • The 2018 Earth Day Fair, sponsored by the Carolina Student Government Environmental Affairs Committee, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Polk Place on April 18.
  • A speech by Stephen Dredge, who leads the firm MeridianUrban, from 5-6 p.m. on April 18 at New East. This talk is part of the Natural Hazards Resilience Speakers Series.
  • A screening of the documentary Staring Down Fate from 6-8 p.m. on April 19 in Koury Auditorium.
  • The Climate Change and Resilience Conference from 12:15 to 5 p.m. on April 20 at the UNC Genome Sciences Building, room GS200.
  • PLASTICON, a community event inspired by and organized by the work of artist Robin Frohardt, from 2 to 5:30 p.m. on April 21 at CURRENT ArtSpace + Studio.

Carolina’s sustainability efforts are centered around the Three Zeros Environmental Initiative, which aims to move the University toward water neutrality, zero waste to landfills and greenhouse gas neutrality.

“The Three Zeros Environmental Initiative has lofty but achievable goals for our campus, and Earth Week is a time to celebrate how far we’ve come, and to educate ourselves on what there is left to do,” said Brad Ives, Associate Vice Chancellor of Campus Enterprises and Chief Sustainability Officer. “Water neutrality, zero waste to landfills and greenhouse gas neutrality require a collaborative effort involving all parts of campus to reduce the University’s environmental impact.”

Since the initiative launched in 2016, Carolina has achieved water neutrality by one measure: UNC-Chapel Hill uses less water than falls on the campus annually. Efforts are also underway to increase the quality of water that leaves the campus.

Last fall, Ives announced the University will increase the use of natural gas at the University’s cogeneration system over the next two years. He also announced that the University will launch a solar storage project at Carolina North.

UNC-Chapel Hill is also working to reduce waste to landfills by limiting the amount of waste brought on to campus and then by recycling and composting waste that leaves campus.

Carolina is a recognized leader in sustainability measures and has been recognized by several entities for its efforts. For example, UNC-Chapel Hill is a gold-level, charter participant in the AASHE STARS program, the national sustainability assessment and tracking system in higher education.