Penn Sustainability concluded its annual Earth Week on April 22, wrapping up a series of nearly 50 in-person and virtual workshops with events led by Penn environmental organizations.
Earth Week, which was held from April 18 to April 22, served as an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to engage with Penn’s sustainability offerings and programming. Events were tailored to meet cross-disciplinary needs, and inspire action around themes of environmental justice, climate, and nature-based solutions, according to Penn Sustainability Director Nina Morris.
Morris said that in contrast to the hybrid model of Earth Week last year, where most events were held virtually, this year's Earth Week featured a more diverse set of program offerings.
Earth Week's programming was open to students, faculty, and staff at Penn.
"It’s a University-wide initiative that’s open to everyone,” Penn Sustainability Manager Natalie Walker said. “The focus is encouraging sustained engagement, both for initiatives at Penn, but also with our neighbors outside of Penn and the organizations we are connected to."
Some notable events from Earth Week included a teach-in led by the Environmental Innovations Initiative, highlighting the implementation of sustainable development goals, and the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy’s “Governing Net Zero” panel.
Penn Libraries hosted a Data Jam on how to experiment with environmental data, and Perry World House hosted a panel on “Oceans at Risk” with Fabien Cousteau, the grandson of French filmmaker Jacques Costeau.
The week also included outdoor events, including tree plantings in Cobbs Creek and volunteer workdays at Penn Park Farm.
In celebration of Earth Day, Penn Environmental Group held “Green Fest” on Locust Walk across from College Green on April 22, where several clubs and student groups lined up with tables to highlight environmentally friendly activities and organizations. Among those in attendance included Penn Sustainability, PennEnvironment, the Campus Coalition Concerning Chester, Student Sustainability Association at Penn, Penn Outdoors Club, the Wharton Undergraduate Energy Group, Penn Food and Wellness Collaborative, Isla Urbana, Penn’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, PennVeg, Penn Beekeeping Club, Penn Closet, Penn Climate Ventures, and Penn Sustainability Consulting.
Sustainability-focused companies like The Rounds, a zero-waste approach to everyday essentials, and HipCityVeg, a vegan chain on 40th Street between Locust and Walnut streets, also shared some of their products with Green Fest attendees.
Fossil Free Penn also held its encampment on College Green during Green Fest, protesting for the University to divest from fossil fuels and support climate justice communities.
During this year's Earth Week, Penn Sustainability focused on the implementation of its Climate and Sustainability Action Plan. Penn Sustainability has engaged with a green living certification, made Green2Go containers for Penn Dining, released a low-emissions vehicle guide, bird-friendly guidelines, and heightened awareness of its air travel offset emissions program.
“Earth Week highlighted the myriad of climate and sustainability offerings at Penn so that each of us can find our voice and role in building an equitable, sustainable future,” Walker wrote.