Virginia Tech’s annual Earth Week celebration, April 17-24, aims to build a more just and sustainable community through education, action, and appreciation for the world.

The Environmental Coalition hosts Earth Week each year with the support of Virginia Tech’s Office of Sustainability and more than 10 student and community groups.

This year’s events will include tree planting, art, movies, lectures, and games. Each day of Earth Week will feature events focused on a theme: Monday is clean energy, Tuesday is nature and sustainability, Wednesday is food and farms, Thursday is health, and Friday is social justice.

Monday, April 17, 6:30 p.m., the week kicks off with a community meal and art auction at Blacksburg United Methodist Church.

Tuesday, April 19, 1-3 p.m., Virginia Tech First Lady Laura Sands will assist with a tree planting initiative Virginia Tech’s Office of Sustainability will lead the effort to plant 10 Patriot Elm trees on the east side of West Campus Drive. Volunteers are welcome to help with the effort.

Wednesday, April 20, 1-1:30 p.m., Virginia Tech President Tim Sands will preside over the installation of a solar table outside of Prichard Hall. The idea for the table came from the Students for Clean Energy group.

During the week, individuals who are “caught green handed” doing environmentally conscious activities will receive a sticker.  These activities include riding bikes, using reusable water bottles, coffee mugs, and shopping bags, taking the bus, and making use of Dining Service’s Reusable ToGo Program. This program is coordinated by the university’s Office of Sustainability and the Town of Blacksburg’s Sustainable Blacksburg group.

A full schedule of events is available on the Environmental Coalition’s website.

Virginia Tech is committed to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, to achieving a minimum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating of silver for all new construction, to reaching a 50 percent recycling rate by 2020, and to improving energy efficiency where and whenever possible in campus buildings.

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