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Celebrating Earth: Seattle Colleges and Community Offer a Full Month of Environmental Action

Earth Day, an annual reminder of our collective responsibility towards environmental protection and sustainability, is taking on a new dimension this year in Seattle. Our college and the wider community are not just reminding but demonstrating their commitment by extending the celebration throughout April, turning Earth Day into Earth Month.

Throughout April, Seattle transforms into a hub for Earth Day festivities. The Emerald City will buzz with various events, from informative virtual workshops to engaging hands-on initiatives. This month-long celebration inspires environmental consciousness, empowers individuals to take action, and fosters a strong sense of community around sustainability.

Seattle Colleges’ Initiatives

The Seattle Colleges are taking a central role in promoting environmental awareness this month. Compiled by the district’s Sustainability Manager, Carolyn Burch, these initiatives offer opportunities for students to get involved.

Kimchi Workshop: Seattle Central’s Fermentation Club invites students to delve into sustainable culinary practices at their Kimchi Workshop on April 17 at 3:30 p.m., held at the Seattle Culinary Academy. This hands-on experience will teach participants the art of crafting this beloved Korean dish, all while discovering the virtues of fermentation and food preservation.  Register in advance here to secure a spot.

Lunch and Learn: Join Seattle Colleges Recology for an event focused on waste diversion, a meaningful step towards a zero-waste future. Discover best practices for everyday life as the experts guide students through the ins and outs of recycling, composting, and landfill diversion.  This virtual event will take place on April 17 at noon.  Don’t miss out—click this link to join the discussion.

Material Recovery Facility Tour: Step behind the scenes and explore the inner workings of waste management at the Material Recovery Facility. This tour offers firsthand insight into the intricacies of proper waste disposal and the vital role of recycling in environmental preservation. Join Seattle Colleges Sustainability and Recology on April 24, 2024, at 1:30 p.m. and register through the provided link to secure a spot.

South Seattle Solar Array Panel: Join South Seattle College, the Washington Department of Commerce, and Seattle City Light to commemorate the installation of solar arrays at Seattle Colleges. This event showcases the importance of transitioning to sustainable energy sources.  For more information and updates, refer to this link.

EcoChallenge: Running throughout Earth Month, from April 1 to April 30, this 30-day virtual sustainability challenge promotes environmental and social involvement. Embrace actions aligned with your values, commit to them, and cultivate positive habits. Every completed action earns points and creates a real-world impact. Students may join by participating individually or with a team. Visit the provided link to sign up and be a part of this impactful initiative.

Community-Wide Engagement

Beyond campus borders, Seattle residents can engage in activities organized by local organizations and environmental groups.

Duwamish River Community Coalition Boat Tour: Embark on an enlightening journey into the history and environmental significance of the Duwamish River. Established in 2001, the coalition addresses pollution and ecological injustices, advocating for a cleaner, healthier, and more equitable environment for people and wildlife in the Duwamish Valley. Participants will gain insights into the community’s mission and vision by joining this tour on May 4 from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Secure a spot through the provided link.

City Nature Challenge: This is a collaborative effort by Woodland Park Zoo, Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, inviting participants to explore and document the biodiversity of the Puget Sound area. By venturing outdoors and identifying local species, participants contribute to the global understanding of regional biodiversity while enjoying nature. From April 26 to 29, this challenge welcomes participants of all ages to join in the discovery.  For further details, refer to this link.

Earth Day at the Arboretum: Celebrate Washington Park Arboretum’s 90th birthday and participate in a work service event aimed at conservation and community engagement. Hosted by the Arboretum Foundation, University of Washington Botanic Gardens, and Seattle Parks and Recreation, this event offers free tram rides and a pollinator education station.  By participating on April 20, you contribute to the foundation’s mission of promoting and protecting this cherished community asset. Learn more and sign up here.

Mercer Island Leap for Green Earth Day Fair: This annual event is held at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center (MICEC) to celebrate Earth Day and promote environmental awareness. Since its inception in 2008, this free fair has aimed to educate children and adults about sustainable practices while raising awareness of local resources. From April 20, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., this event provides an opportunity for the community to come together and learn about ways to protect the environment. Visit this link to learn more.

City of Sammamish Earth Day: This event promises a day filled with crafts, informational booths, prizes, food trucks, performances, a petting zoo, bug/reptile interactive booths, and more.  Taking place on April 20 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., this celebration highlights the city’s commitment to sustainability and environmental awareness.  Visit this link for more information.

Earth Day as a Stepping Stone, Not a Finish Line

As Seattle anticipates Earth Day’s arrival, Burch offers insights into the significance of the upcoming celebration, stating, “I really try to take up space, so I always say it’s Earth Month.” For Burch, celebrating the Earth extends beyond a mere calendar date, encompassing a broader ethos.

In Burch’s view, Earth Month catalyzes collective action and community empowerment. She asserts, “It’s a really good time to come together with your community, to take care of each other and the places and spaces you occupy. So I think it’s a good time to start that conversation.”

“I think that it’s a really good opportunity to get out into the world and just be reminded of how much you interact with nature, infrastructure, and a lot of the things that I think you can sometimes take for granted,” Burch elaborates.  She encourages a deeper appreciation for the often overlooked elements of daily life, noting, “It’s a really good opportunity to take a step back and be grateful for the things, almost inanimate things, that allow you to move through your life.”

As Earth Day approaches, it serves not as an endpoint but as a stepping stone toward greater environmental consciousness and action. Our celebration of the earth should extend beyond a single day, permeating every facet of life. Let us not confine our commitment to Earth Day alone, but let it inspire us to undertake a lifelong pursuit of environmental advocacy and preservation.


Danika Djuanda

Born and raised in the lively ambiance of Jakarta, Danika is a burgeoning storyteller. Now, nestled in Seattle’s rain-soaked embrace, she refines her craft as an editor and writer at the Seattle Collegian while pursuing her AA degree. With every keystroke, she senses anticipation, understanding that her words could unveil hidden stories and amplify unheard voices. Danika’s mission transcends reporting; it is about infusing vitality into narratives that spark change and resonate with the world, leaving an enduring impact.

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