Earth Week at UW Tacoma

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The calendar is full of virtual events through which you can get engaged with Earth Day 2020, one which promised to be an Earth Day unlike any other.

The 50th iteration of Earth Day is April 22.

According to Denis Hayes, the organizer of the first Earth Day in 1970, the COVID-19 pandemic “robbed us of Earth Day this year.”

Perhaps in comparison to what was planned on a global scale (“gigantic crowds in 180 nations, from St. Peter’s Square to Kolkata, from Rio to Paris, from the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to Seattle Center”), the necessary pivot to a virtual celebration seems – different.

But COVID-19, if anything, even more sharply underlines the interconnected nature of human presence on earth. Whether global warming or global pandemic, nothing that happens in our environment happens without affecting humans, a connection we ignore at our peril.

So, this week take a moment, or more, to think about Earth Day and our interconnectedness. This Earth Day will be unlike any other, as the official Earth Day 2020 website makes clear.

Faculty, staff and students from across the UW Tacoma campus have developed ways you can get engaged locally while honoring social-distancing obligations. The major UW Tacoma opportunities are listed below, with even more available on the UW Sustainability web site.

Monday, April 20

Get Outside Where You Are: a social media sharing event

UW students, staff, faculty, alumni and supporters: share how Huskies are getting outside and where during the time of social distancing. Where do you find nature in your neighborhood? Post on the Facebook event or with the hashtag #UWOutsideWhereYouAre.

Tuesday, April 21

UW Tacoma Moves on Sustainability

Event time and link to come

UW Tacoma’s first-ever sustainability coordinator, Allan Cortina, presents an overview of campus progress on energy and water savings, waste reduction, recycling and composting.

Tuesday, April 21

A Conversation on Carbon Offsets and Markets

3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (live Zoom event)

What the heck are carbon offsets? And how are they used? Find out with UW Tacoma as they ask Stephanie Harris (director of carbon markets) from 3Degrees on how using carbon offsets can play a role in combating climate change.

Wednesday, April 22

Podcast: Stories of Re-Connecting to Sustainability in the Time of Corona

Details, including a link to the podcast, to come.

Thursday, April 23

Sustainability Pie Challenge

12:30 - 1 p.m. (live Zoom event)

This event is like a game show with pie!.Tune in to watch UW Tacoma professors as their knowledge of sustainability is tested by students. The penalty for a wrong answer is pie in your eye!

Friday, April 24

Food Friday, Urban Gardening and Local Food: a social media sharing event

The UW community is invited to share how they are growing their own food or how they are getting local food and supporting the people who make it. Use hashtag #UWGrowsLocal.

Friday, April 24

Giving Garden virtual tour

Time and event link to come.

Staff of the UW Tacoma Giving Garden will lead a virtual tour of the garden and talk about how you can grow your own urban garden.

Written by: 
John Burkhardt / April 20, 2020
Photos by: 
Ryan Moriarty
Media contact: 

John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or