Celebrating Earth Week at BC

Courtesy of Michael Yoon

The 13th annual Earth Week is underway with students actively raising awareness regarding consumption and conservation. This year’s theme is “Living Local,” which emphasizes supporting the local economy, rather than the larger franchises.

The Sustainability and Science Association (SSA) is the primary sponsor of this weeklong event with advisor Robert Viens, dean of the Science Department, as the organizer of the event. With his hard work and dedication, Viens has invited guest speakers and planned an agenda full of fun and excellent educational experiences.

Earth Week is off to a great start with yesterday’s “Pledge an Act of Green” kickoff along with the film “Revenge of the Electric Car.” It wrapped up with guest speaker Lon LaFlamme, the marketing and national sales rep from Dillanoes Coffee Roasters; Abigail Doerr, from the Washington BUS; Nicole Keenan, from the Washington Environmental Council; and Andrew Villenevue, the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute.

BC’s third annual farmer’s market is hosted in the courtyard with great local products, such as honey and fruits.  The guest speakers are Franz Lowenherz, the Senior Transportation Planner for the City of Bellevue; Mike Hanson, a BC botany instructor; Michael Meyer, a BC English instructor; Falaah Jones, from Seattle Tilth; and David Williams, the author of The Street-Smart Naturalist. Sit in on the lectures and learn about transportation, eating locally, and gardening within a community.

Wednesday will be full of more learning opportunities concerning sustainability. Chi Pak, the senior manager of sustainability from T-Mobile, will be describing sustainability within their business. Later on, Buzz Hoffbord from Bon Appetit and Chris Makyut, the owner of Chaco Canyon Café, will explain sustainable food businesses. The final speaker of the day will be from Lisa Mikesell, from the Washington Toxics Coalition, and will be sharing a presentation entitled “You are what you eat, use and wear.” The two films being shown on Wednesday are “The Dark Side of Chocolate” and “Forks Over Knives.”

On Thursday, listen to Emma Johnson from Zero Waste Washington; Kurt Hoelting, the author of The Circumference of Home; Mark Storey, a philosophy instructor at BC; Trina Carlstrom from Microsoft and Trenten Huntington from Sustainable Business Consulting.  The film “Tapped” will be shown at 11:30 a.m. in the cafeteria and will be one of the most anticipated events for the entire week.

The BC Fashion Club has worked hard to design and create clothes from recycled materials, such as newspaper, to demonstrate that it’s possible to look good with reused items. Approximately 15 models will be strutting down the runway, showing off the members’ hard work. Michael Yoon, president of the fashion club, excitedly shares, “Fashion and sustainability goes hand in hand!” There are approximately 60 members in this club, but Yoon encourages all interested to join.

The final day of Earth Week on Friday will begin with the film “Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us?” Then, Deric Gruen, our very own sustainability coordinator, will discuss sustainability at BC. The day will wrap up with the “Taste of BC Community Potluck” in C120. Finally, students will have the opportunity to embark on a field trip to Jubilee Farms in Carnation. This is a community-supported agriculture farm owned by part-time BC professor, Erick Haakenson.

Most of the events will be in the BC cafeteria, but specific times regarding Earth Week can be found at http://scidiv.bellevuecollege.edu/rv/earthweek/2012/schedule12.php.

SSA was founded many years ago but has disintegrated. Megan Phan, an active leader in the club, serves to inform and recruit students. She hopes to strengthen the club and build a strong foundation for next year so that there will be many more Earth Weeks to come.