During the week of April 18, a host of student organizations will be putting together activities and events in honor of Earth Week. These activities will look to promote a greener future for NMU and help rally support for a new carbon proposal that will reduce emissions and cement Northern as a leader in sustainability.
One of the events that were hosted this past weekend was a community cleanup around Marquette. Jane Fitkin, co-leader of Conservation Crew, said that the community cleanups help forge bonds between NMU and the Marquette community as a whole. With the cleanups giving students and community members an outlet to get out and help, the cleanup also helps with more interactions between students and community members and see the differences made from preventing pollution in Lake Superior.
“It’s my hope that events like this inspire people to be more mindful of their trash or pollution, to maybe bring a bag with them and pick up trash while on a walk, or even look for more ways to get involved with environmental movements throughout Marquette and the greater U.P.,” Fitkin said.
NMU’s Citizens’ Climate Lobby will be putting together a film from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 22. The viewing will be focused on the recently re-established Civilian Conservation Corps.
With the COVID-19 taking away many face-to-face gatherings, Calista Rockwell, leader of NMU CCL, said that the screening is a great way to hear more about CCL and the group’s goals as an organization.
“On top of that, this film is centered on the Conservation Corps, its history and importance, along with the introduction to the new Climate Corps,” Rockwell said. “Climate Corps is another great way to get involved with not only supporting climate policy work but providing campus with uniting ways to protect our environment in all aspects, in order to help to create a more sustainable future.”
The NMU Animal Club and Humane League, Gamma Theta Upsilon Honor Society and several decarbonization experts will be organizing events during Earth Week as well. The new carbon budget resolution will take center stage, however, with its pushing-through remaining a priority.
“Many of these policies are economical on day one. The most cost-effective ones pay for themselves in less than two years, like upgrading to LED lighting. If the student Green Fund were utilized to change out all the lights in Hedgcock, TFA and Harden Halls, for example, it would reduce the carbon footprint of Northern by the equivalent of 39 cars per year,” John O’Bryan, author of the new proposal said. “This can be done for less than $80,000 with less than a two-year return on investment. If the student Green Fund were used for this, like I proposed earlier this semester, then the university’s savings could be returned back to the Green Fund to be reinvested in similar efforts.”
Rockwell remained confident in the potential influence that a move like this from NMU would mean for the community as a whole.
“Northern has a real opportunity to lead on climate. If it can adopt a progressive suite of specific policies like I outlined in the resolution, it can really set the stage for a community-wide approach toward decarbonization,” Rockwell said.
For a full schedule of events this week visit the Conservation Crew’s website here.