Photos by Rebecca Briesmoore.

MEM student Jenny Nitzky peddles LEAD’s Blender Bike at the BBQ.

Western celebrated Earth Week from Monday, April 18 to Friday, April 22 with a series of events that included a solar golf cart race, a Recycle Train event in coordination with Sustainable Crested Butte where hard-to-recycle items were collected and trucked to the Front Range, and a FreeCycle donation day (complete with free donuts).

The week culminated with the annual Earth Day Barbeque on Friday, featuring burgers from Parker Pastures, a performance by the Jam Club, and a variety of educational booths for students to explore.

Camryn Uetz, a junior studying Wildlife Biology, is a member of the environmentally focused LEAD Sustainability group, and one of the week’s primary planners. “I think the Earth Day BBQ went extremely well! Despite the weather our tough Mountaineers came out to enjoy [the event]. We went through all food and drinks, and Jam Club put on an amazing performance… I’d like to thank Sara Phillips [Western’s Director of LEAD and Orientation] and the LEAD Sustainability team for their endless support,” Uetz says via email.

Western Solar Society (WSS), one of Western’s newest clubs, was hard at work during the week. “I think the most exciting part of the week, from an environmentalist’s standpoint, was the finalization of our solar charging station [for e-bikes and electronic wheelchairs] in front of the University Center. [WSS Advisor] Rich Stromberg and Matt Harris put up the panel just in time for the solar cart race!” she adds.

“I feel relieved now that [the] planning is over. It takes hours of work and coordination to host an event, even a small BBQ. But it is all worth it… I think we all need to care more and realize that this isn’t easy work. It’s hard and dirty work to reshape our lifestyles and communities to make a greener planet, but I love it,” Uetz concludes.

ENVS Professor Ricardo Vázquez-Perales
Jermaine Rodney, Western IT employee and owner of Jermaine’s, tends to the grill at the BBQ
ENVS student Kallie Klein decorates Western Solar Society’s new solar oven.
Western Solar Society members celebrate the new charging station installation
ENVS student Tess Peterson decorates the solar oven.