EWU Sustainability week: Protecting our species


Colleen Ford

“Sustainability week is a chance to celebrate the Earth and talk about ways that we can protect it and make our environment and our surroundings a better place to live.” This year’s theme is ‘protecting our species’.

By Kaisa Siipola and Colleen Ford

“Sustainability week is a chance to celebrate the Earth and talk about ways that we can protect it and make our environment and our surroundings a better place to live,” Erik Budsberg, sustainability coordinator said. “So sustainability week looks at different ways and different options that we can do that.”

The purpose of the event is to highlight events that are sustainable; something should either create new opportunities, not harm anyone in any sort of way, not disenfranchise anybody or negatively impact the environment and should be economically feasible, according to Budsberg.

This year’s theme, in recognition of Earth Day on April 22, is protecting our species. Last year’s theme was plastic emotions and the year before that was on climate change, according to Budsberg.

Budsberg said he hopes that students take away an understanding that there’s different assets to sustainability and there are many ways to get involved. “Once folks start to really understand their neighborhood, their community, the environment that surrounds them you start to make deeper connections to that.”

Sustainability has three components according to Budsberg.

“Sustainability isn’t just all about environmental causes,” Budsberg said. “There’s a social equity component or a social justice component, and there’s the economic component.”

Event Calendar

Monday April 22


Earth Day Fair – campus mall (JFK lobby weather backup)
10 a.m. to 2 p.m

The Earth Day Fair is a laid-back tabling event that provides departments and organizations a chance to talk about the work they do and how students can get involved with them. 

Wild and Scenic Film Festival – PUB NCR
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

From 6-9 p.m. there will be a Wild and Scenic Film Festival in the PUB NCR. These films essentially celebrate a lot of really cool work that groups of people have done regionally, nationally and globally, working to protect and improve their own region and environment. Snacks will be provided, and prizes will be raffled during the films.


Tuesday April 23

Tuesday’s events revolve around the keynote speaker, Will Allen, who is the co-author of  “The Good Food Revolution” which was the common read for the incoming class. Allen will visit campus for the day to talk and interact with students. Coffee with Allen is informal, and students can come by the JFK Library to meet him. The luncheon is sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and 30 students will be selected to have lunch with Allen. Allen will speak about his journey and the significance of his work. Afterward, Allen will hold a book signing beginning at 4 p.m.

10 to 11 a.m.Coffee with Will Allen in the JFK library
12 to 1 p.m.Lunch with Will Allen, contact Ielleen Miller at [email protected]
3 to 4 p.m. – Will Allen Keynote address in SHW AUD

Wednesday April 24

Sustainable Cooking Class – Tawanka Kitchen
3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The sustainability cooking class is on a first-come, first-serve basis for up to 20 students. A chef in dining services will run the class. Natalie Stine, manager of nutrition and sustainability for dining services, will provide assistance if needed and Sustainability Coordinator Erik Budsberg will give a sustainability presentation. A couple of recipes that were chosen are India butter chickpeas and curry chickpeas. Half the class will cook the India butter chickpeas and the other half will cook the curry recipe. The purpose of the event is to teach students how to make healthy, sustainable meals on a budget. If there are more than 20 students, they’re welcome to stick around, watch and enjoy the food afterward.


Thursday April 25

BBQ – Campus garden, behind the Red Barn
Noon to 1 p.m.
Drop-in campus garden work party
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

A BBQ will be held in the campus garden for students to learn about the garden and enjoy food until it runs out. The drop-in campus garden party is an opportunity for students to gain experience working in and maintaining a garden.

Sustainability after hours – The Mason Jar
5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The sustainability after hours at the Mason Jar include guest speakers presenting on themes like adventure, sense of place and sustainability. There will be a presentation on bike commuting to campus. Dr. Chad Pritchard, associate professor of geology, will speak about his summer geology course and former EWU student Bernt Goodson will talk about the  Pacific Crest Trail. Afterward, there will be time to mingle and ask questions.