Campus to celebrate the human aspects of sustainability

Human health and well-being is the focus of this year’s annual “Celebrate Sustainability” week. This weeklong series of events will be held on campus Monday-Sunday, April 9-15.

The Office of Sustainability uses this week, formerly known as the Yale Sustainability Summit, to highlight and celebrate sustainability activities being hosted throughout campus. This year’s lineup will include the annual Environmental Film Festival at Yale, a recycled art exhibit, sustainable food cooking lessons, work-days at the Yale Farm, a recycling fair, tours (on foot and by bike), and talks on issues ranging from environmental exploitation in the Gulf region to global poverty, among other activities.

“We try to emphasize that sustainability really is about the balance between people, planet, and prosperity,” says Melissa Goodall, assistant director of the Yale Office of Sustainability. “This year, we want to emphasize the people part of that equation — whether it is through food, exercise, or health.”

In keeping with this focus the organizers of the event are advancing “One Day Without Shoes” as a possible activity for members of the Yale community. To be held on Tuesday, April 10, “One Day Without Shoes” is a global event wherein participants pledge to go shoeless for one day with the aim of fostering awareness of the impact a pair of shoes can have on a child’s life. Now in its fifth year, this event is sponsored by Tom’s Shoes, a company that donates a pair of shoes to a person in need — many in developing countries — for every pair it sells. The “One Day Without Shoes” campaign draws attention to the challenges, limitations, and diseases faced by millions of children around the world who do not have shoes.

Other highlights of “Celebrate Sustainability” include a screening of the Academy Award-nominated film “The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom,” about the Japanese tsunami survivors’ rebuilding of their community; a conversation with “No Impact Man,” Colin Beavan, whose blog describing his family’s attempt to live for one year without making an environmental impact was cited as Time Magazine’s top 15 environmental blogs; the fourth annual recycling fair and green lab certification information session; a student and alumni panel on environment- and sustainability-related careers; tours of the award-winning, LEED-platinum-rated Kroon Hall; an initiative among students, staff and faculty working on Science Hill to leave their cars at home and instead bike, walk or use public transportation; and a book swap by staff at the Yale Center for British Art.

For a complete schedule of events, visit here.

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