Students encouraged to go without bikes, meat during Earth Week

Jovahana Avila

Students for Sustainability (SFS) is celebrating Earth Week at St. Edward’s University to raise awareness about environmental issues and educate students on how they can help.

“We are all connected to this world as humans, and when we hurt the earth, we harm that connection between humans and the earth,” Miguel Escoto, SFS president said at the organization’s meeting on April 16.

Earth Week starts on April 23 through the 27, and offers an array of programs for the student body.

The week will kick off with “Meatless Monday,” where no meat will be served at Bon Appetit to reduce the greenhouse emission footprint, a measure of the amount of greenhouse gases a specific product or process emits.

SFS will also be tabling outside of Ragsdale to promote “Ride Your Bike to School Day,” which is April 24. The all-day event will reward students with complementary Jo’s gift cards, coffee, and bags for individuals who practice “responsible commuting habits.”

That afternoon, Jack Musselman, Director of the Center for Ethics and Leadership and Associate Professor of Philosophy, will be leading a peer-to-peer Eco-Ethics Discussion.

On Wednesday, SFS will be hosting its main event, Earth Day Fair 2018, which will feature some off-campus and on-campus organizations. Including Texas Campaign for the Environment, Austin Energy, Campus Recreation and the Outdoor Adventure Club.

Escoto said that the fair “touches on several aspects such as reducing waste, being an environmentalist through your diet, and through transportation.”

“There will also be a demonstration where we will show our support to the university’s efforts to utilize renewable energy on campus, although we are aware that it isn’t always financially possible,” Escoto says.

There will be vegan hot dogs from Doggie Style at the fair and some interactive activities at the SFS Promotion table including a clothing swap.

“[The clothing swap] is an interesting opportunity where I feel that people will be able to understand their direct impact more clearly,” freshman member Sunny Brittan said.

In the evening, SFS will be hosting their “Panel on Environmental Justice” with environmental activist organizations such as PODER and Urban Roots who will discuss issues of environmental justice in Austin.

On Thursday April 26 the “Panel on a Vegan Diet” event including professional panelists discussing the health and environmental benefit of incorporating a vegan diet.

Lastly, on Friday April 27 the “Dive-in Documentary” is a screening of an ocean-themed documentary in the Recreation and Convention Center (RCC) pool where students can swim and watch a documentary of coral reefs. “I hope the students learn about their environmental impact and that they make some positive lifestyle changes,” sophomore, Vianei Pompa says.

As Students for Sustainability begins to wrap up the semester, they will also be able to achieve the approval of an electric car charging station that will be installed in the parking garage during the first week of May.

“That’s the thing about environmentalism is that it’s all-encompassing; it’s not just all science, biology and environmental science majors,” Escoto states. “The environment interacts with everything, every part of our lives and these events will exemplify that.”