Chris Schulz Published

Marshall University Celebrates Earth Week Early

Big, older college building in a campus setting
The Old Main Building on the Marshall University campus.
West Virginia Public broadcasting

Marshall’s Sustainability Department is hosting public events around campus as part of a weeklong Earth Week Celebration. 

“We focus on the three pillars of sustainability,” said Amy Parsons-White, Marshall’s Sustainability Manager. 

“When a lot of people think of sustainability, they think of recycling. But we focus on people, planet and profit, which are the three pillars. Every program that we start works towards workforce development, creating a better community, while reducing our carbon footprint, and either saving money or making a profit for the university.”

All activities are free and open to the public, including documentary screenings and an Earth Day Fair Wednesday, April 10. The fair, which includes an EV Car show, workshops and vendors will run from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Memorial Student Center Plaza and Buskirk Field.

Parsons-White said the events are designed to educate attendants on how to live a more sustainable life.

“A lot of people think that it’s very difficult, that you have to completely change your life,” she said. “It’s really a series of small changes that you can make in order to live more sustainably and reduce carbon footprint. That’s what we’re doing. That’s what Earth Week is all about and we’d love to see the community here engaged as well.”

Issues of sustainability, and particularly climate change, can be daunting, Parsons-White said. She highlighted a talk with Citizen Climate Lobby’s Mark Tabbert as an answer to those concerns.

“So many times, we hear about all the problems, and it gets really disheartening, and a lot of people can feel hopeless with the issues,” Parsons-White said. ”Mark is going to be offering up what we can actually do. There are solutions. “

Earth Day is celebrated internationally on April 22, but Parsons-White says that conflicts with Marshall’s finals week, so the campus event was moved up to ensure all students had a chance to attend.