Earth Week initiatives go “Electronic”

By Chris Noh, Year 12, Sustainability Steward
UCC’s Earth Week events had to be adapted for the virtual world. So our team got to work.
The result was a keen willingness by the UCC community to embrace sustainable living initiatives.
Monday proved to be an exciting kickoff to our first-ever Electronic Earth Week, with the vegetarian cooking contest receiving submissions from across the community. From noodles to baked goods, to stir frys and crème brûlée, creativity was at full throttle.

Tuesday brought a social media challenge in the form of short videos students could post of themselves performing ecological acts such as turning off their lights and avoiding unnecessary laundry.
On Wednesday, we sent a five-minute video community-wide outlining sustainability on multiple scales: at home, at UCC, and within our world. Our current restricted lifestyle has proven to be beneficial regarding air pollution worldwide, and could provide valuable insight into how we as a species must act to mitigate the climate change crisis. The video also speaks to what you can do on an individual basis, whether that be wearing organic material (cotton or wool) or eating less meat.
Thursday from 3 to 4 p.m. was UCC’s Earth Hour, where we encouraged community members to drop the screens and participate in a variety of challenges posted on a “paddleboard” website. 
Finally, Friday saw co-host of Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet and author of The Reality Bubble Ziya Tong generously taking the time to answer students’ questions on sustainable living, COVID-19, and humanity’s “blind spots” carried out in daily life.
Sustainability Council members worked passionately to devise, discuss and deliver these activities in a very short period of time, and I would like to sincerely thank them, as well as all the avid participants. I would especially like to thank our event leaders Jay Kim, Ian Vyse and Krishna Bambawale, and our council heads Adam Hargarten and Bassem Sandeela. Last – but certainly not least – thank you to our faculty adviser and mentor extraordinaire, Ms. Triff.
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