Earth Week Begins on Campus: Art Contest, Recycling, Farmers' Market

AUC farmers market at Earth Week
AUC farmers market at Earth Week

AUC is hosting the fifth annual Earth week under the theme, Once is Not Enough, which focuses on reusing and recycling. The weeklong events, which started on April 18 and will continue until April 24, include a children's day with games and activities, lectures, an art competition and a farmers' market.  

"Sustainability requires long-term thinking and making the most out of all of our resources, including materials that may currently end up in the waste bin," said Tina Jaskolski, head of the research unit at the Research Institute for a Sustainable Environment (RISE), which is organizing the event, in collaboration with the Sustainable Campus Committee and Office of Sustainability.

Earth Week is held to celebrate Earth Day, an international event held on April 22 to support environmental protection and awareness. Started in 1970, Earth Day is celebrated in more than 200 countries worldwide.   

At AUC, the weeklong program is divided as follows: 
All Week 

The Sustainable Campus Committee will have six booths set up in the plaza in front of Cilantro. The committee is comprised of students, staff and faculty committed to developing and sharing ideas about sustainable living and the environment. At the booths, you can: 

- Stop by to make recycled paper from seeds that can be planted.
- Sign the sustainability art posters that will be displayed in the library.
- Learn about RISE, the Office of Sustainability, and pick up AUC's Carbon Footprint report. 
- Get information about composting at AUC.  
- Ask about how RISE's work with AUC Food Services to make food outlets more sustainable and encourage people to use reusable containers.  Also stop by and congratulate Cilantro for being honored with a sustainability award, based on the sustainability survey implemented last semester at all food outlets. 

The following food outlets are also providing incentives for customers who bring and use their own reusable mug during Earth Week:

- Customers will have 10 percent discount on orders of Coffee latte' and frappe, as they bring their own cup instead of receiving a regular one. They could also receive free smoothies (blueberry, pineapple and pomegranate) or macchiato mint.

Quick 24
-10 percent off on coffee

The Bakery Shop 
-Free tea

To encourage good recycling practices, the Office of Sustainability will have members of the Clean and Green Committee, made up of staff and faculty members, at sorting stations around campus to educate the community on how to sort their garbage.  

And if you aren't recycling, watch out for the Trash Monster, who will be roaming the campus during assembly hour. The Trash Monster will challenge students to Trashketball –– a basketball game in which trash must be shot into the correct sorting basket.    

Saturday, April 18 

Earth Week kicked off with Children's Earth Day, organized through RISE's Kids Environmental Education Program (KEEP). The day included games to teach recycling, art projects and planting. Children also heard stories from Nazih Girgis, an award-winning Egyptian author who incorporates classical music and storytelling into his educational sessions to teach children about taking care of the environment and about themselves. He has written children's books in Arabic and English, and also leads workshops on reading and storytelling for underprivileged children in Egypt.

Sunday, April 19

On Sunday is the first of two lectures that will be held during Earth Week as part of RISE's Spring 2015 Seminar Series. Omar Lotaief, research associate at RISE, will speak on "More Than a Little Bee: Bees in Your Life.” His talk will focus on beekeeping, the status of bee populations in Egypt and the surprising presence of bee derivative in everyday products.  

Monday, April 20 

RISE will hold a cornucopia sculpture contest during assembly hour. Teams can show off their creative side by building sculptures out of a variety of recycled materials.

Wednesday, April 22

The second of two Earth Week seminars will feature Richard Tutwiler, RISE director, and Yara Moustafa, research associate at RISE, who will discuss their research on food security and water management in Egypt.  

Two events will also be held in conjunction with the International Conference on Education and Training for Stability (ICETS), which is taking place on campus and focuses on educators instilling sustainable values in students from an early age. 

At 1 pm, in Moataz Al Alfi Hall, the Office of Sustainability will give a presentation titled “Understanding AUC’s New Carbon Footprint." AUC Sustainability Director Marc Rauch and Chelsea Estevez, presidential intern in the Office of Sustainability, will explain details of the report and educate the community on efforts to maintain a green campus and reduce the University's carbon footprint.  

At 2 pm, there will be a sustainability tour of the New Cairo campus for attendees of the International Conference on Education and Training for Sustainability, but anyone is welcome to join. The tour will begin in front of Moataz Al Alfi Hall.  

Thursday, April 23

For the second year in a row, the Sustainable Campus Committee will be hosting a Farmers Market in the plaza. Shoppers will find a variety of vendors selling organically grown fruits and vegetables, as well as olive oil, dates, pickles, fruit smoothies and vegan food.  

Friday, April 24

To wrap up Earth Week, RISE has organized a clean-up activity for children and adults in and around the Cairo Zoo.  

Photo Caption: The farmer's market will feature locally grown, organic fruits and vegetables