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‘Earth Week at Brandeis 2021:’ A time to emphasize sustainability, environmentalism and justice

This year, the biggest Earth Day celebration occurred on Brandeis’s campus over a week. Earth Day turned into “Earth Week at Brandeis 2021” and there were many events throughout the week to celebrate the planet we inhabit and encourage people to save the planet. In a Zoom interview with The Brandeis Hoot, Lotem Sagi ‘24, a member of the Brandeis Sustainability Ambassadors (BSAs), explains that BSAs were asked to organize a series of events for Brandeis’s Earth Week. 

“Earth Day was created as a form of activism to create awareness around sustainability and how wasteful our system is and how destructive it is and that is still very true today,” Sagi told The Hoot in an interview. “It is not a one time a year thing. It’s something that’s constantly happening.”

Sagi, Reegan Moskowitz ‘22 and Madeline Toombs ‘23, who are all BSAs, specifically worked in collaboration with co-chairs of the Senate Sustainability Committee Selah Bickel ‘24 and Jesse Zucker ‘21 to think of a bigger way to celebrate Earth Day on campus and came up with Earth Week. They came up with the idea to have multiple events throughout the week. Sagi explains that they wanted to have events that were relevant to students, especially in this current climate, and they also wanted to allow people to participate in discussions that they may not have been able to participate in previously. 

“Environmentalism and sustainability and justice are not separate,” Sagi further explained. “Sustainable living means living at peace with our earth, at peace with our resources and it also means equitable labor, living together and appreciating each other and the resources we have and the earth we have.”

The group took a month to organize Brandeis’s Earth Week. There were many events throughout the week. On Monday, April 19, the first day of Earth Week, sustainability groups on campus, including Students for Environmental Action (SEA) and Brandeis Climate Justice (BCJ), took part in EnviroFest, which gave students the opportunity to learn more about sustainability on campus, according to their website. On the university’s wellness day on Tuesday, April 20, students had the opportunity to participate in student-led outdoor exercise classes. On Wednesday, there was a BSA booth in which individuals played environmental jeopardy in order to encourage discourse around environmental sustainability. This event focused on the connection between sustainability and living with the consequences of pollution and exploitation of resources. There was also an event led by Toombs and Ann Ward (GRAD) which centered on environmental justice. 

Upcoming events include a clothing and book swap (Friday, April 23, 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Shapiro Campus Center (SCC) tent) and a farmer’s market (Sunday, April 25, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., Fellows Garden). More information on upcoming events throughout the rest of the week is available on the Earth Week website. Students interested in starting their own garden in their dorm room can pick up supplies on Saturday, April 24 at the “Sowing the Seeds” event from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the booths in Fellows Garden.

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