Campus sustainability week

Monday, Oct. 14, 2019 through Friday, Oct. 18, 2019 was UNC Charlotte’s 6th Annual Campus Sustainability Week. UNC Charlotte is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) which promotes October as “Campus Sustainability Month” and encourages members to host events throughout the month. 

The Sustainability Office’s role is “to support UNC Charlotte’s mission as the state’s urban research university and its particular commitment to addressing the cultural, economic, educational, environmental, health, and social needs of the greater Charlotte region.” 

On Monday, Oct. 14 from 7:15 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Belk Plaza lawn, Venture Outdoor Leadership hosted an outdoor film screening of An American Ascent, a documentary film about the first African-American expedition to tackle North America’s highest peak, Denali. There was free pizza, and Venture supplied camping pads for lounging under the stars. 

The annual Transportation Fair on Tuesday, Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the CHHS Plaza featured dozens of organizations that provided information on transportation options as well as affordability, safety and advocacy issues. Attendees learned about the new services coming to UNC Charlotte and the Queen City. Organizations such as NC Air Awareness, Sustain Charlotte and the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition were present. 

University Recreation led an outdoor yoga session in the Botanical Gardens on Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 10 a.m. and Chartwells Dining Services provided beverages and food for participants. 

Sushma Masemore, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment and State Energy Director of NC Department of Environmental Quality spoke on Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 5 p.m. for the EPIC Energy Seminar Series regarding the NC Clean Energy Plan. 

The Charlotte Green Initiative (CGI) sponsored the third annual student gathering at the Student Union Back Patio on Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 6 p.m. for pizza and pumpkin carving. CGI is a student-led initiative that collects $1 per semester Green Fee from each full-time UNC Charlotte student for projects that “will enable UNC Charlotte to use renewable energy, become energy efficient, and operate in a sustainable manner.” Projects that are currently in progress include the “turn off the lights” sticker campaign and additional hammock locations. 

Every Thursday at the Botanical Gardens, the Plants, Palettes and Pixels event is an opportunity for artists to use the garden to draw, paint and more. Artists are welcome to gather informally at the picnic tables in the Idesia Grove of the Harwood Garden to meet other artists and share ideas. 

Organized by the Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling, a campus cleanup took place in multiple locations around UNC Charlotte on Thursday, Oct. 17 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. where volunteers can receive community service hours. 

On Saturday, Oct. 19 and Monday, Oct. 21, environmental educator Carla Vitez gave a unique tour of the Van Landingham Glen. Attendees got to know about native species through Vietz’s interpretation of botany and history.

UNC Charlotte partners with Sustain Charlotte such as the Biketoberfest which was postponed to Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. This is the 5th annual Biketoberfest around Uptown Charlotte and South End. Tickets start at $25. 

Last year for the 2018 Sustainability Week there was also a campus cleanup, transportation fair and student gathering. Other events in the past included tree banding and an electronic waste collection. 

Dr. Michael Lizotte, the University Sustainability Officer said, “The main reasons to check out Campus Sustainability Week are to learn how you and your campus work together to create a clean environment, affordable lifestyles, and opportunities to make a difference in the world.” 

The Sustainability Office focuses on the campus in the fall because in the spring they have Earth month to get into community, regional, national and global sustainability. Lizotte said, “Since 2020 is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, we are planning on promoting an 'Earth Semester' this year with events throughout spring semester.” 

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