Courtesy of Christine Demeyers
Sustainability is quickly becoming an area in which the university is setting an example for the community.
Earth Week 2014 was the culmination of UTSA’s most sustainable efforts. The weeklong event, April 21 to April 24, showcased environmental initiatives within all academic concentrations.
The first event to take place was a Bike Rodeo intended to promote riding bicycles as a sustainable alternative to using carbon-producing transportation. Students had the opportunity to bring their bicycles to be inspected and have minor problems fixed. For students who do not own bicycles, a 45-minute orientation provided by the Outdoor Resource Center gave access to bikes from the rec.
The second day’s events included an information fair and green car show. A Tesla Model S and Roadster were both featured in the University Center Paseo area. The information fair showcased projects from environmental organizations on campus, such as Roadrunners for Renewable Resources and The Green Society. Students were able to win a free t-shirt by visiting each table.
The second day of Earth Week events also featured the documentary film “Switch,” which supported “the switch” to renewable energy policies.
Wednesday’s Earth Week event included a project to show students not to waste food. Weigh the Waste involved student volunteers weighing leftover food of students eating in Roadrunner Café. When students threw away leftover food, volunteers weighed the leftover amount for students to see how much food is wasted and to encourage them to take less.
The final day of events began with a day long paper-recycling event. Students, faculty and staff were invited to bring old papers no longer needed at the end of the semester to recycle outside of the UC Ballroom.
That afternoon, a Goodwill donation station was also set up near the San Saba Hall dorms to collect old clothes and belongings from students who were cleaning out their rooms.
The last Earth Week event introduced the inaugural environmentally themed art exhibition that took place at the High Wire Arts Gallery downtown. The event featured environmentally themed works of art from various students in different colleges.
Olivia Ybarra, senior environmental science major, contributed a piece to the art show. “I participated in the Earth Week Art contest because I had an interesting take on sustainability and I decided to share that in a creative expression,” said Ybarra.
“It is important to advocate Earth Week because it reminds people how sensitive our environment is and the many things we can do to protect it.”
The tuition-funded Green Fund provided funding for Earth Week. The Earth Week Planning Committee organized Earth Week; they plan to continue a tradition of showcasing sustainability in 2015.