The University of Virginia will host Sustainability Days on Thursday and Friday to examine a variety of ways that staff, faculty and students can address local and global environmental challenges. The two-day program on Grounds expands the national “America Recycles Day” campaign.
The highlight of the event is “Hoos Talking Green,” a series of “mini-keynote speeches” from select U.Va. scholars in the Newcomb Hall South Meeting Room that begins at noon on Friday.
“We have the fortunate position to learn from thought leaders like Tim Beatley, who is an expert on sustainable cities, Kamin Whitehouse, who is at the cutting edge of smart home technology, and many others,” said Nina Morris, outreach and engagement program manager with U.Va.’s Office for Sustainability. “The insights gleaned from these experts can help shape our practices on Grounds.”
Hoos Talking Green will feature seven-minute presentations from six U.Va professors: Beatley, Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities, in the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning, School of Architecture; John Cannon, a professor in the School of Law; Deborah Lawrence, a professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences; Bill Shobe, research director at the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service; Dr. Matthew Trowbridge, a physician, public health researcher and associate professor in the School of Medicine; and Whitehouse, an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Cheryl Gomez, director of operations for Facilities Management, will moderate the event.
Sustainability Days also will feature a presentation on the University’s nitrogen footprint; a film screening and panel discussion on this fall’s People’s Climate March; a “conversation café” aimed at crowdsourcing solutions to going “zero waste” on Grounds; a student poster competition highlighting ideas for improving sustainability on Grounds; and a celebration of America Recycles Day.
Sponsored by U.Va. Sustainability and U.Va. Dining, Sustainability Days opens Thursday with a workshop from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. in Clark Hall’s Odum Room. Researchers will discuss the progress in documenting and reducing the University’s nitrogen footprint.
Also Thursday is the global sustainability poster competition from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in Ern Commons. Hosted by Carla Jones, program director for the Architecture School’s Center for Design and Health, the competition gives students an opportunity to present ideas for sustainable solutions for water, transportation, agriculture, health and energy.
The film “Disruption,” a behind-the-scenes look at the People’s Climate March in New York City this September, will be screened at 5:30 p.m. in Ruffner Hall, room G008. The event also will feature the premier of a short documentary highlighting the 80-plus U.Va. students’ experience at the march. Following the films there will be a panel discussion featuring Gomez; Erika Herz, director of intellectual capital at the Batten Institute in the Darden School of Business; Nqobile Mthethwa, a second-year student in the College and a member of the Climate Action Society; and Dyanna Jaye, a fourth-year environmental science and global development studies major. The two students participated in the march. Andrea Trimble, sustainability director for Facilities Management, will moderate the panel.
Friday’s events begin with a 9 a.m. zero waste workshop in Wilson Hall, room 306. Following a brief talk on the history of waste diversion at U.Va., attendees will participate in small-group conversations aimed at generating innovative ways to reduce waste on Grounds.
America Recycles Day will be celebrated on the south end of the Lawn from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with recycling-themed games, trivia, prizes and interactive displays, sponsored by the Office for Sustainability Students, Zipcar and UBike.
Information about the event can be found here.