The Daily Tar Heel

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Sunday May 16th

Earth Week participants on campus engage with the environment

The Edible Campus new garden planting and celebration will take place this Saturday as part of the Earth Week festivities.
Buy Photos The Edible Campus new garden planting and celebration will take place this Saturday as part of the Earth Week festivities.

Morgan Zemaitis, from student government’s Environmental Affairs Committee, said having a full Earth Week instead of just one day is a good way to engage every environmental group. The committee will be hosting a large number of these environmental organizations in the Pit.

“They’re going to do sort of, like, DIY activities to teach people how to live sustainable lifestyles because that’s one of the most relatable things people can do is change their own sort of lifestyle habits to better the environment and teach others and it kind of spreads the word,” she said.

Zemaitis said long-term and continuous environmental issues usually get pushed to the side while other current events that happen in a shorter timespan usually take precedent.

“This is our week to say ‘Hey look, these things are important’ — we have to all understand them, we are all on the same page here, but let’s try to be better about it,” she said.

Gloria Liu, co-chairperson of the Renewable Energy Special Projects Committee, said she wants students to understand the importance of her organization.

“I’m an environmental science major, so we learn about the issue a lot but we don’t necessarily talk about the applications and solutions and so the renewable energy industry is one of them,” she said.

She said the Renewable Energy Special Projects Committee is responsible for allocating money toward solar panels on the Student Union and for solar umbrellas. It also allocated money toward a solar greenhouse project and will hold a ribbon-cutting for the project Friday.

Laura Mindlin, the Edible Campus initiative coordinator, said a new 13,000 square foot garden with 13 raised beds will be ready on Saturday behind Davis Library.

Mindlin said it is encouraging to see the efforts taking place on UNC’s campus as a part of Earth Week.

“I think it’s a very important time in our world for people to be connecting to the Earth and appreciating the Earth and giving back to the Earth in any way that they can,” she said.

Liu said celebrating Earth Week, rather than only Earth Day, is an important way to get people to care about environmental issues.

“I definitely think that an Earth Week is more significant than just having one day because people get exposed to it more,” she said. “They realize it’s a general theme not just some, you know, pop-up kind of event in the Pit for, like, a day.”

Mindlin said she wants to emphasize these types of events are not things that can only happen around Earth Week, but rather are things that are going to be the norm on campus all year round.

“I mean, every day should be Earth Day,” she said.

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