This week marks the fourth annual celebration of Think Green Week, a five-day schedule of environmental events and initiatives intended to promote campus sustainability. The weeklong festivities, which feature an eclectic mix of movie showings, guest speakers, and even a fashion show, culminate with the Earth Day Celebration on Friday, April 22. Lasting from 10am to 2pm on the Instructional Center walkway, the Friday event is free and open to the public.
Tech’s Earth Day Celebration is one of the largest in the Southeast, drawing over three thousand participants and featuring more than seventy different exhibits. This year’s theme is “What It Means to Be Green,” reflecting a focus on true, committed environmentalism.
This year’s celebration, like previous celebrations, was organized by Earth Day Committee Chairwoman Cindy Jackson. Over the years, she has observed the rapid evolution of Tech’s relationship with environmentalism.
“We’ve made incredible progress in the last decade,” Jackson said. “Georgia Tech has gotten much more into the green movement. When I got here, we recycled two different types of materials. Now we’re up to seventeen.”
In 2007, because of heightened interest by sponsors and demand for more events, the Earth Day Celebration was expanded into Think Green Week.
Monday’s event was a screening and discussion of Bag It, a documentary centering on American plastic consumption. Also discussed was the Seven-Day Plastic Challenge, a quick and relatively painless way to reduce
the use of plastic.
Tuesday’s event was a book signing and Q&A session with Professor Jonathan Evans, the author of Ents, Elves, and Eriador: The Environmental Vision of J.R.R. Tolkien. Attendees were encouraged to bring gently used books to donate to charity.
Wednesday’s event was a screening of the documentary Crude: The Real Price of Oil. The critically acclaimed film details the struggle of thousands of Ecuadorans in their legal battle against Chevron over widespread contamination of the Amazon Rainforest.
Thursday’s event was the “Throwaway Runway,” an eco-fashion show that featured vintage, repurposed, and couture designs made from gently used clothing. The show’s sponsors partnered design students from Bauder College with models from Tech. Also on Thursday was the Sustainability Bike Tour, a nine-mile guided bike ride through the streets of Atlanta. Stops were made at public parks, notable LEED-certified buildings, and the Truly Living Well organic produce farm.
Based on attendance and enthusiasm at Think Green events this week, Jackson is confident in the success of Friday’s Earth Day Celebration. As for its impact on campus awareness, she remains optimistic about the future of sustainability efforts at Tech.
“Students have always been involved in sustainability efforts,” Jackson said. “But in the past few years, they’ve just become so impassioned. There’s a lot of enthusiasm for the green movement on campus.”