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Earth Week 2015

What can I do? It's always the question, arriving custom built with the pre-supposition that our individual efforts won't go very far to change anything, to make a difference. Especially where protecting the Earth is involved. It's so big and complex, and after all, you're just one person.

One person who shops, who buys, who moves about your day, who is observed by others, who take their cues from you and from whom you accept affirmation of the norms you reinforce at every turn. You drive, you bike, you walk; you bring your bags to the grocery store. You repair your roof with energy saving materials; you install solar panels. You invest in a company that manufactures solar panels. You speak to children about waste; you teach your own kids by example - in whichever direction, mind you. You're just one person, what can you do?

Each spring, the university hosts UGA Earth Week to encourage sustainable living. The weeklong celebration centers on the national Earth Day observance on April 22.

Earth Week will kick off April 20 with a food truck and farmers market festival in the Tate Student Center Plaza from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to local food vendors, this event will feature local and student-led organizations promoting sustainability initiatives and hands-on learning activities, bike repairs and food made in Athens. Earth Day T-shirts will be made on-site; bring a lightly colored T-shirt to participate. Partnering organizations include UGA Food Services and the Athens Farmers Market.

Later that day, the Campus Bike Co-op, a student-led group, will lead a bike ride around Athens to promote alternative transportation. The ride will start at 6 p.m. at Myers quadrangle. At 7 p.m., the Athens Science Café will feature Marshall Shepherd, who will discuss "Zombies, Sports and Cola: What Does it Mean for Communicating Weather and Climate?" at The Foundry (previously the Melting Point at Graduate Athens). A UGA Athletic Association Distinguished Professor, Shepherd is director of the Atmospheric Sciences Program in the geography department and host of the Weather Channel's WXGeeks.

On April 21, the ACC Stormwater Office will conduct a hands-on workshop from 11 a.m. to noon in Room 140 of the Tate Student Center. The workshop will teach participants how to better communicate science through a case study involving pet waste and water pollution.

From 3:30-5 p.m. in the Larry Walker Room of Dean Rusk Hall, the Inspiring Careers in Sustainability Panel will feature industry leaders from Coca-Cola, Cox Enterprises, Southface and Georgia Power. At 4 p.m., the Odum School of Ecology will host the 30th annual 2015 Odum Lecture, which will be delivered by ecologist Nancy Grimm at 4 p.m. in the ecology auditorium. A professor of ecology at Arizona State University, Grimm studies how climate change and human activities affect ecological processes in aquatic and urban ecosystems.

More at the link. There are a lot of great people on campus with terrific ideas on what you can do, today, to make a difference, and grow that effort into something that feels like it matters, if that's what you need. Within that smallest effort, however, you'll see how little it takes to make your own difference. Start from there. But whatever you do, just start. 

Image: Even the Beatles were sending us signals about what to do.

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