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It's Earth Week!

Posted by Chantelle Hicks on April 20, 2020

Earth-Week-2020.pngIt’s Earth Week! Time to Celebrate iCAP 2020

Fifty years ago this month, millions of Americans fed up with oil spills, smog and pollution took to the streets in a massive environmental protest to educate the public and demand government action.

That first Earth Day is credited with launching the modern environmental movement and several landmark laws: the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act.

In conjunction with the 50th anniversary, iSEE is celebrating Earth Week with a few virtual events tied to the national Earth Day 2020 theme — climate action — and a fun way to promote sustainability at home!

iCAP 2020 Celebration and Forum! On Thursday, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., we will celebrate sustainability and the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) during a Facebook livestream event. The first iCAP was written 10 years ago to help the campus achieve carbon neutrality as soon as possible, and by 2050 at the latest. Tune in as we showcase the draft of the 2020 iCAP and the hard work of the many people who have contributed their time and effort to this project.

We've come a long way since the drafting process began, with new ideas for reducing waste, curbing water and energy use, lowering carbon emissions, and promoting sustainability on campus! You can RSVP and sign up for reminders at the Facebook link above.

Earth-Week-BINGO-for-Instagram.pngEarth Week Bingo! Chart your sustainable activities this week with a game of Earth Week Bingo! You can find a playing card on our website and social media (or download the image at right), then fill in the squares as you complete each activity. 

Start a compost pile, identify wildlife on a nature walk, switch to reusable water bottles, go a full day without meat, share your favorite nature poem, or take part in one of iSEE's virtual events. When you can say "Bingo!" share your card for a chance to win a sustainability prize!

Keeling Lecture: We kick off Earth Week today with a talk by Texas Tech University climate scientist and U of I graduate Katharine Hayhoe, who will deliver this year's Keeling Lecture. You can hear her talk, "Climate Science in a Fact-Free World," at 4 p.m. today on Zoom. 

Hayhoe argues that scientists have to understand the "true roots" of climate denial to engage constructively with those who politicize the science — and possibly identify areas of common ground. This lecture is sponsored by iSEE and the Department of Atmospheric Sciences.

Register on the Facebook event to RSVP. To listen on Zoom: Meeting ID 722 887 599; Password "Keeling"

A Half-Century of Environmental Activism: Illinois' environmental roots date back more than 50 years to 1969, when a student group formed to stage a program for that first Earth Day in 1970. Students for Environmental Concerns (SECS) — then known as Students for Environmental Controls — arranged for speakers, panel discussions and films about a full slate of environmental topics, from ecological preservation to population growth.

Volunteers also cleaned up the Boneyard Creek, went door-to-door in an environmental education campaign, and put a car on trial on the Quad for environmental destruction. It was found guilty and sentenced to a sledgehammering!

Read more about the history of the state's first environmental group.