Mason Gears Up for Earth Week Activities

Posted: April 15, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Question: What do the following have in common — vegetable oil, Rep. Gerry Connolly, art, produce, goats and bikes?

Answer: They are all part of Earth Week at Mason, April 20-22.

From the novel to the practical and the local to the global, Earth Week programs and activities will touch on just about everything “green” you can think of.

Following are some highlights; see the web site for up-to-the-minute details. All events are free and held on the Fairfax Campus unless otherwise noted.

Monday, April 20

BioTour Veggie-Oil Bus Display

Mason Traffic Circle, near the Mason statue

10:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Come see the biodiesel bus, a converted school bus that runs on waste vegetable oil. You’ll get to see how it works by climbing aboard and taking a look under the hood.

BioTour Living Sustainably Presentation

Research I, Room 163

4:30 to 6 p.m.

Learn about BioTour, an educational nonprofit of 13 young people traversing the country on two school buses that have been converted to run on waste vegetable oil and solar power. The group will address climate change, environmental degradation and peak oil while presenting pathways toward sustainability in renewable energy, the potential in green jobs and advocacy for a more active and participatory democracy.

Energy and Climate Policy Discussion

Featuring Rep. Gerry Connolly, State Sen. Chap Peterson and others

Student Union Building II, Rooms A, B, C

6 to 8 p.m.

Learn about current and planned energy and climate policies presented by elected officials. Connolly and Peterson will present and answer questions from the audience.

Tuesday, April 21

Coal River Wind Group Mountaintop Removal Presentation

Johnson Center Cinema

10 a.m. to noon

The Coal River Mountain Wind Project is led by concerned citizens residing in the Coal River Valley of West Virginia, where community groups have been fighting the devastating effects of surface mining for many years. For the first time, we have an economic alternative to these destructive mining practices. Learn more about this historic struggle for a cleaner, more sustainable future and how you can help.

AgriArt (through May 15)

Fine Arts Gallery

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; reception 5 to 7 p.m.

AgriART presents an array of art works that critically engage with cultures of food production and consumption. The exhibition features projects that represent where we are and what we can do to (re)create sustainable relationships with our sources of nourishment and the communities in which we live.

Do It Yourself Workshops

Student Union Building II, Rooms 3-4

10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Learn how to screen print your own T-shirts, make your own green cleaning products, put together quick and easy vegan and vegetarian meals and more.

Coke Recycling Trailer

Johnson Center Plaza

Noon to 4 p.m.

Learn about recycling and get free soda from Coca-Cola.

Environmental Justice Panel

Featuring Irv Sheffey, Kari Fulton and others

Student Union Building II Ballroom

6 to 9 p.m.

This event will present environmental justice from the perspective of the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area. Our guests have years of experience as environmental justice organizers and will share their experiences working with low-income communities and communities of color.

Wednesday, April 22

Campus Clean-Up

Meet at the Johnson Center Plaza

11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join Mason’s Environmental Awareness Group as they conduct a campus clean-up. Teams will be leaving from the Johnson Center Plaza starting at 11 a.m. and spreading out across campus to pick up as much trash as possible. Snacks will be provided for volunteers.

Mason Farmers’ Market

Johnson Center Plaza

11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Visit the Farmers’ Market for locally grown products. Support the local community and learn about how buying local can help the environment.

The Bulondo Goat Project

Near the Johnson Center Plaza

11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In October 2008, the Women and Gender Studies Program partnered with the Women’s Center for Job Creation, a nongovernmental organization based in Minnesota and Uganda, to empower low-income women in Uganda. The group collected donations for the Bulondo Goat Project, which provides goats for individual women in Uganda so they can have sustenance for their families as well as develop small businesses. The goats at Mason’s Earth Day celebration will make the global local, providing an opportunity to educate Mason faculty and staff, students and the Fairfax community about violence and its aftermath in Uganda and other African countries, as well as the fund-raising project.

Environmental Expo

Johnson Center Plaza

11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Learn about some of the groups and organizations doing environmental work at Mason and in the surrounding communities. Participating groups include the Sierra Club, the World Wildlife Fund, Fairfax ReLeaf, the GMU Environmental Awareness Group, Mason Transportation and many more.

Bike to Mason Day!

Featuring Oasis Bike Works, Bikes at Vienna, GMU Bikes

Johnson Center Plaza

6 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A pit stop for those biking in from 6 until 10 a.m. will be provided, with breakfast (muffins, pastries, fruit, coffee, water), free Bike to Mason T-shirts, GMU Go Green water bottles and more. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., we’ll make announcements and award prizes to riders who have preregistered (you need not be present to win). In the afternoon, we’ll have power bars and drinks for the return home. Register online.

Earth Day Concert

Featuring I-See, D.C.’s Hottest Reggae Band

Johnson Center South Plaza

1 to 3 p.m.

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