As outlined on the UW Oshkosh sustainability website, “The goal of Earth Week is to highlight local and global environmental issues and to encourage students, faculty, staff and the larger community to learn about the issues and take action, as individuals and communities, to create a more sustainable world in the face of unprecedented global-scale change.”
Earth Week 2013: Seeking Solutions for a Sustainability Transition will be held April 22-26. A week’s-worth of events are scheduled for campus and community members to participate in.
Earth Week highlights include keynote speaker Nate Hagens, a sustainability scientist specializing in ecological economics, net energy and human behavior; other events include speakers, tree planting, food drives, art exhibitions, movies and more. All events are open to the public.
“Earth Day was conceived as a teach-in on college campuses around the country to galvanize the emerging public consciousness about pollution into political action. Although the movement that followed achieved remarkable success with a rare degree of bipartisan support, much work remains,” said Brian Kermath, UW Oshkosh sustainability director. “The concerns have expanded from air and water pollution in the U.S. to matters of global environmental change. To keep pace, the modern Earth celebration focuses on cultivating change agents who can function within the private, public and nongovernmental sectors at home and abroad.”
Earth Day is April 23. However, sustainability initiatives at UW Oshkosh are continuously ongoing; UW Oshkosh is committed to progressively reducing its ecological footprint and fashioning a durable and better world through its academic mission.
Among the institution’s more-recent, sustainability-focused achievements is a spot on the Sierra Club and Sierra Magazine “Coolest Schools” ranking, which is based on the “greenness” of participating universities. UW Oshkosh was ranked 14th in the nation, the highest ranking for UW Oshkosh to date and the highest ranking in the state. Shortly after that Aug. 2012 announcement, UW Oshkosh learned it was among 21 colleges and universities from around the United States to earn a spot on The Princeton Review’s 2013 Green Honor Roll – the highest such accomplishment for the state’s third-largest university since it began sharing data with and demonstrating its sustainability progress to the company.
Also, building upon its national “green” reputation, UW Oshkosh became only the 25th institution to date in North America and the first in Wisconsin when it earned the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE’s) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS) “Gold” rating in Feb. 2012. UW Oshkosh is also recognized for using solar energy in many campus building, its green roof atop Sage Hall and its U.S. Green Building Council LEED certified buildings.
And, most recently, an independent panel of food service operators from the across the industry named UW Oshkosh one of the finalists for the National Restaurant Association 2013 Operator Innovations Awards for it’s Feed the Beast recycling program.