Annual fair brought together campus groups and community partners.
Students and other members of the George Washington University community on Friday celebrated Earth Day on the Mid-Campus Quad, showcasing the university’s commitment to sustainability, recent progress and the challenges that remain.
Incoming Student Association President Ashley Le praised her peers for their work, saying they go “above and beyond” in their sustainability efforts.
“Sustainability isn’t just a concept,” she said. “It’s who we are, it’s how we want to live.”
Ms. Le said her administration would support sustainability initiatives throughout the 2018-19 year, including working to enhance the Sustainable Investment Fund and addressing food insecurity.
Fossil Free GW, a student organization focused on divestment from fossil fuels, conducted a silent, organized demonstration at the event.
In his remarks, President Thomas LeBlanc committed to continuing to support GW’s leadership in sustainability to “create a more sustainable GW and world.” He said he has been “impressed” by the community’s dedication.
The university recently released a report highlighting the previous decade of significant sustainability achievements at GW, said Meghan Chapple, director of the Office of Sustainability. Climathon, the Eco-Equity Challenge and GroW Garden are just a few of the university’s efforts, Ms. Chapple said.
She emphasized that students and others must remain engaged in sustainability given the path the Earth is on. She noted, for example, that by 2050 there would be more plastic in the ocean than fish and asked attendees to consider how people’s actions affect others around the world.
“Are we listening to what we’re hearing from the Earth,” she asked.
Also, this month GW received several “marks of distinction” awards from Second Nature, the leading climate change organization for higher education in the United States. Second Nature recognized GW for its renewable energy purchase through the Capital Partners Solar Project and participating in the “We Are Still In” movement.