Campus to celebrate sustainability at EarthFest

Hanna Quinlan
Release Date: 

The University of Michigan campus community is gearing up for its annual EarthFest sustainability celebration, set for Thursday on the Diag.

This year’s event features free local food, chef demonstrations and giveaways from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. It also will showcase environmental and energy initiatives throughout the university.

New this year is a custom 3-D street painting design that celebrates EarthFest and sustainability that was created by Dave Brenner, creative director for the School for Environment and Sustainability, and sponsored by SEAS.

“The U-M community has so many opportunities to make an impact on sustainability. Actions like composting, taking the bus or buying local food reduce our environmental footprint,” says Ashlee Rothfuss, Office of Campus Sustainability representative. “EarthFest attendees have the chance to learn about research and educational resources available on campus.”

EarthFest’s mission is to engage, entertain and educate the U-M community on the university's 2025 sustainability goals: climate action, waste prevention, healthy environments and community awareness.

Attendees are encouraged to visit the dozens of booths operated by student organizations, university departments and local non-profits to learn about efforts across campus and the local community in the areas of research, education and operations.

EarthFest is designed to be a fun and interactive zero waste event, with participants encouraged to use recyclable or compostable giveaways. Zero waste is an aspirational goal of diverting 90 percent of waste from landfills through recycling and composting.

Other highlights include:

• A chance to win an iPad: Visit booths in each of the goal areas to obtain tokens or stamps that can be turned in for a chance to win. Participants must present their MCard to enter.

• Free, local snacks such as apples from Lesser Farms in Dexter and donuts from Washtenaw Dairy.

• Photo booth to take photos and share a pledge on U-M's social media channels with the hashtag #PlanetBlue.

• An appearance by Rufus, the recycling mascot.

• Composting and recycling bins to encourage zero waste.

U-M has been celebrating the planet for more than 20 years. EarthFest is organized by students and staff led by the Office of Campus Sustainability.