ASU organizations celebrate Earth Day early with collaborative festival

Thirteen student organizations and eight departments came together to promote going green

With Earth Day just two days away, the University of Sustainability Practices along with the collaboration of various on-campus organizations and partnerships celebrated early with an Earth Festival on Wednesday.

Thirteen student organizations and eight different ASU departments tabled on Hayden Lawn to bring awareness to ASU’s environmental initiatives and showcase various sustainable accomplishments.

A free yoga class was open to students, and the first 25 participants received free yoga mats.

Susan Norton, a program manager for university sustainability practices, said the collaborative event had taken four months of preparation. Norton said they worked with other departments such as Changemaker Central, Zero Waste and Sun Devil Dining

“I hope students will walk away with a better understanding of how they can support sustainability practices at ASU,” she said. “That they walk away with new ideas on how they can be more resourceful with energy or water or even food waste.”

Aside from the on-campus departments and clubs participating, a third party partnership, Turning Green, had also taken the time to collaborate. Turning Green is an organization that promotes student leadership globally in regards to environmental issues.

Kendon Jung, a student involvement coordinator through the Memorial Union with Changemaker Central, worked closely with Turning Green.

“We were very excited to see their mission of activating students on campuses as sustainable champions and leaders,” Jung said. “That is what sparked inviting them to help increase awareness of sustainability for this event.”

Jung said he saw the value and impact Turning Green could bring to the event.

“Turning Green is bringing their expertise from many iterations of this same event at different universities,” he said. “They are also bringing a bunch of materials that will be used to set up topic tables that will help increase awareness on certain topics.”

Turning Green attempted to educate students on topics including the implications of zero waste, fast-fashion and food waste.

One of the eight Student Ambassadors for the School of Sustainability, Sydnee Andress, said sees just how important protecting the environment is.

“These issues are real and are happening all around us,” she said. “There is not one area that isn’t being affected by these issues. Climate change is a real thing, protecting the Earth is something we need to do and we need to take a stance at it as a whole."

Even though creating a greener environment is such a broad and daunting issue, Andress, a sustainability senior, said it all starts with smaller initiatives at first.

“If ASU, as a community, can rally together and have everyone recycle, everyone composting and everyone turning off their lights when they’re not using them,” she said. “Then with all those little things together we can all make a really big difference.”

Reach the reporter at or follow @marcellabaietto on Twitter.

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