Cleaner and Greener: Earth Week 2017

AUC's Earth week will run from April 19 - 23
AUC's Earth week will run from April 19 - 23

From April 19 to April 23, AUC will celebrate Earth Week, marking the University’s annual participation in international Earth Day on April 22.

This year’s festivities will focus on cleaner and greener ways to live on a day-to-day basis, while simultaneously celebrating the Earth’s natural beauty. The theme for the week was inspired by the three main pillars of sustainability at AUC: operations, research and academia. Combined, these pillars encapsulate an appreciative attitude toward the environment, and Earth Week’s activities aim to demonstrate this appreciation and awareness.

“Earth Week provides the AUC community the opportunity to better inform themselves and participate in activities that increase sustainability awareness,” said Yasmin Mansour, AUC’s sustainability officer. “Every little effort we make contributes greatly toward our sustainability progress. Earth Week gives us the chance to be more conscious of our impact on the beautiful world around us.”

|Egypt is facing an inevitable water, energy and food crisis,” added Peter Nasr, adjunct faculty at the Center for Sustainable Development. “Approaching each problem individually will not provide a sustainable solution given their interconnectedness. The Center for Sustainable Development’s activities and research aim to provide sustainable solutions contributing to solving present and future challenges of water, energy and food.” In addition to research, the Center for Sustainable Development’s strategy has two other main dimensions: education and community service.

This year, for the first time ever, AUC’s Earth week is a collaboration between the Office of Sustainability, Center for Sustainable Development and the Research Institute for a Sustainable Environment (RISE). Below are highlights of the week’s activities:

Wednesday, April 19

Kicking off this year’s Earth Week and encouraging people to green their homes will be an urban agriculture demonstration on Bartlett Plaza on Wednesday, April 19.

Also on Wednesday will be a session titled “It’s Not About Infrastructure; It's About You! How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint, Save the Earth and Save Money.” This session will feature a presentation by RISE researchers about research on sustainable cities in Egypt and Dubai, in addition to a game to estimate our carbon footprints. The session will be held in Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin AbdulazizAlsaud Hall, room P071 from 1 to 2 pm.

Thursday, April 20

A panel titled “Addressing the Water-Energy-Food Nexus,” will be held on Thursday, April 20, from 1 to 3 pm in Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin AbdulazizAlsaud Hall, room P071. The panel will be followed by a tour of the Center for Sustainable Development Water-Energy-Food Nexus lab. Peter Nasr will also moderate a panel with three sustainable development graduate students presenting their research work related to water, energy and food.

Sunday, April 23

Throughout the day on Sunday, April 23, members of the AUC community will be able to take a short survey for the Go Green Go Bus initiative on Bartlett Plaza to receive free giveaways, such as stress balls, ID holders and bus tickets.

The AUC community will have a chance to learn more about the University’s carbon footprint at “Tracking AUC’s Climate Impact: Five Years of Data,” held at the Campus Center, room P020, from 1 to 2 pm.  Khaled Tarabieh, assistant professor of sustainable design in the Department of Architecture and co-author of the report, will moderate a panel on climate change in Egypt and AUC’s role. Panelists will include Hassan El-Fawal, dean of the School of Sciences and Engineering; Salah El-Haggar, chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and associate professor in the Social Research Center; and HaniaSholkamy,  associate professor in the Social Research Center.

Concluding this year’s Earth Week will be a sunset safari on Sunday at 5:15 pm with Richard Hoath, senior instructor in the Department of Rhetoric and Composition and supervisor of the Core Curriculum, through AUC’s gardens, stopping along the way to tell the story of our local plant and animal life. The tour will finish with freshly squeezed juice from the fruit trees on campus.

If you are interested in getting more involved, there are numerous ways for students, faculty members and staff to volunteer, from using social media to encourage friends to come to events, to helping set up for presentations, to volunteering at the Earth Week booths. Please reach out to SuziKondic at suzi.kondic@aucegypt.edu if interested.