The University’s annual EarthFest celebrated waste reduction, healthy environments and climate action with a Diag event on Thursday.
Geared toward educating students about sustainability, the festival featured games and free food from local eateries. Attendees were also encouraged to visit tables and booths manned by more than 50 sustainability groups.
The event, which has been held on campus for almost 20 years, drew hundreds of students over the course of its four-hour duration.
Barbara Hagan, sustainability representative in the University’s Office of Campus Sustainability, said EarthFest primarily focused on sparking student engagement by showcasing the work of sustainability-based organizations on campus.
“It highlights some of the work that all of the student groups as well as the internal departments and external nonprofits do to protect the environment,” she said. “We encourage new students to come and talk to the student groups to see which one they might want to get engaged in.”
Circle K, Planet Blue and Michigan Dining were among the 50 participating organizations. Members of the University’s Solar Car team were also present with their award-winning solar car.
Members of the LSA Student Government staffed tables where attendees could pick up small wildflower planters to take home.
LSA senior Tanner Korponay, chair of the LSA Student Government subcommitte, Taking Responsibility for the Earth and Environment, said EarthFest demonstrates the importance of sustainability on campus.
“(EarthFest makes) students realize that they can be sustainable in very simple ways around their homes and around campus by doing very simple things,” he said.
LSA sophomore Uriel Lee, an LSA student government representative, said she EarthFest is way of celebrating and giving back to the planet.
“It tells students how to be sustainable, but more so, it also shows a little appreciation for Mother Earth,” Lee said. “It’s raising awareness about the different things students can to do to help the environment and be sustainable at the same time.”
Hagan said, she hoped the event helped students find organizations through which they can join the cause.
“It would be awesome if it was an opportunity for students to connect with a student group that is aligned with their own ideas of what they want to work on, and then dive in and become involved and make a difference,” she said. “They can achieve that and have fun in the process and meet people they’ve never met before.”