This year's event was organized by a student planning committee, in collaboration with UW Sustainability and the College of the Environment's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion group. The event included exhibitors and activities outside on the HUB Lawn, while inside the HUB Lyceum was a volunteer-centered career fair along with speakers and panels throughout the day.
Although the traditional Spring Seattle drizzle made an appearance during the day, a crowd of students, staff and community members engaged with the exhibitors throughout the day. Student groups, UW departments, community partners and other organizations were on hand to discuss their sustainability efforts and ways people could get involved.
The theme of UW Earth Day 2019 was "Engage for the Earth," with several groups offering ways for attendees to take action. WashPIRG and the ASUW Office of Government Relations encouraged those eligible to register for vote, and had an action station for students to write directly to their legislators. The UW Farm had a make-your-own organic spice mix station, UW EcoReps and SAGE gave out seed bombs for planting, and EcoReps also organized a clothing swap to encourage re-use. Attendees could also contribute to a community painting art piece around Earth Day and enjoy food from local vendors as part of the Husky Green Market.
Inside the Lyceum, one of the highlights of the day was a Q&A with former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, who is chair of the UW EarthLab Advisory Council. Jewell talked about the challenges we face and the urgency of tackling sustainability issues.
"Sustainability is really about how you create a future that doesn’t jeopardize the planet or the human beings that occupy it," Jewell said. "We have not done a good job, and we're running out of time. On this 49th anniversary of Earth Day, I'd say we have one opportunity to do this and it better be now."
Jewell's talk was followed by the Husky Green Award, honoring 11 sustainability leaders from across all three UW campuses. This year's Husky Green Award winners included students, faculty, staff and groups who demonstrated a commitment and dedication to sustainability. Later in the day, a panel discussed challenges and opportunities around incorporating sustainability into business practices.
See photos from the event in the slideshow below, or visit the Flickr photo album.
With Earth Day 2019 behind us, UW is now looking toward the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in 2020. If you are interested in learning how you can get involved in the planning for Earth Day 2020, email Toren Elste at email@example.com.