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Express your passions at Western’s Earth Week

On Monday, Earth Day kicks off a week of sustainability focused activities for students

WWU 2024 Earth Week logo. A week filled with Earth related events.  // Courtesy of Cole Burk

Students have the opportunity to attend a series of events at Western Washington University’s Earth Week. The week begins with the Earth Day fair in Red Square on April 22 and ends with The Outback Farm Spring Jubilee on April 26. 

Whether you’re interested in writing nature poetry, growing fresh produce or making fashion from trash, Earth Week has something for everyone. It serves as an opportunity for students to find their pathway to sustainability with activities to spark their passions. 

This year's Earth Week is led by the Sustainability Engagement Institute, an organization at Western whose goal is to develop a sustainable future, said Cole Burk, SEI student ambassador. This is the first year that SEI oversees Earth Day events. The week's events are hosted by groups such as the Community Service Center, The Outback Farm jubilee, LEAD and more.

“[Earth Week] acts as a stepping stone to seeing a lot more sustainability events throughout the year at Western,” Burk said. There are more events already from Students for Climate Action and native plant restoration from LEAD, Associated Students VP for Sustainability, Liam Pratt said.

A Word For Mother Earth, an open mic night on April 23 at 7 p.m., takes place at the Underground Coffee House. It is in partnership with The Community Service Center and focuses on the environment, according to Jenn Cook, Assistant Director for Leadership & Community Engagement at the Community Service Center.

“Writing and documenting nature is crucial to know where we come from,” said Stan Tag, Fairhaven creative writing professor with a specific interest in nature writing. 

This event is the first of its kind to add a theme to the regular open mic nights, Cook said. It’s an opportunity for students to share poetry, dance, sing or partake in any other art form relating to their outlook on the Earth. 

“To write about nature preserves it and therefore protects it in a world of climate change,” said Tag.

A Word for Mother Earth (1300 x 780 px).png

A Word For Mother Earth Logo. A hand holding an Earth microphone, symbolizing an Earth themed open mic night. // Courtesy of Jacob O'Donnell

The entire week has multiple events per day. The purpose of the info fair is for students to find something of interest to them in sustainability, and explore other events throughout the fair, Pratt said.

For the Earth Day Fair, Students for Climate Action wrote a Sustainability Equity and Justice Fund grant worth $5,000 to purchase produce to hand out to attendees, Pratt said. 

In past years the AS Environmental and Sustainability Programs Office was responsible for Earth Week. After budget cuts, the Environmental and Sustainability Programs office was transferred to SEI in the spring quarter of 2023, Pratt said.

This event is supported by grants and student fees, making the budget between $15,000 and $20,000, said Pratt. Last year the budget was $23,000 for Earth Week, with the AS ESP in charge. This decrease caused the Earth day fair to forgo live music or an art market.

There is also an opportunity to learn at a talk about climate realism and energy optimism with Bob Inglis. The week will end with celebration at the Outback Jubilee. The Jubilee takes place at The Outback Farm and will be filled with food and music to celebrate the Earth with students.

“We're trying to get it out there and have everyone involved because environmentalism is for everyone,” Pratt said. “It's not just us tree huggers that are into it.”


Monday, 4/22

LEAD Native Plant Restoration 

Host Group: LEAD

Time: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

Location: Outside Wade King Rec Center 

Earth Day Fair 

Host Group: Sustainability Engagement Institute & AS VP of Sustainability 

Time: 11 a.m - 2 p.m. 

Location: Red Square 

Climate Realism & Energy Optimism: Unpolarizing Current Politics with Bob Inglis 

Host Group: College of the Environment & WWU Foundation 

Time: 4 - 5 p.m. 

Location: AW 204 & on Zoom 

Chartwells Sustainability: Food Waste 

Host Group: Chartwells 

Time: 5 - 8 p.m. 

Location: Planet Eats @ Fairhaven Commons 

Tuesday, 4/23

Film Screening: Kiss the Ground 

Host Group: Office of Civic Engagement & Students for Climate Action 

Time: 6 - 8 p.m. 

Location: AH 204 

A word for Mother Earth: Environmental Open Mic Night 

Host Group: Community Service Center 

Time: 7 - 9 p.m. 

Location: Underground Coffee House 

Wednesday, 4/24

Urbanism Activism: Understanding the Movements to Secure Bellingham's Waterfront 

Host Group: Planning Club, Office of Civic Engagement, & Students for Climate Action 

Time: 2 - 5 p.m. 

Location: VU 565 

Forest Bath in the Arb 

Host Group: Students for Renewable Energy 

Time: 5 - 6 p.m. 

Location: Meet at Miller Hall Collaborative Space 

Thursday, 4/25

Earth Week Repair Fair 

Host Group: Zero Waste Western 

Time: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Location: VU Multipurpose Room 

Sustainable Clothing Swap + Go for the Green Celebration 

Host Group: Housing Sustainability 

Time: 4 - 7 p.m. 

Location: Wade King Rec Center MAC Gym 

Friday, 4/26

Earth Week Cook-In 

Host Group: College of the Environment & Gigi Berardi 

Time: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. 

Location: AH 219 

Tools for Sustainable Eating: Plant Your Own Herb Garden and Decorate Your Own Tote Bag! 

Host Group: Community Service Center 

Time: 10 a.m. -12 p.m. 

Location: VU 5th Floor Lobby (In front of Campus Post Office) 

Outback Farm Spring Jubilee 

Host Group: Outback Farm 

Time: 4 - 6 p.m.

Location: Outback Farm

Mars Wetzbarger

Mars Wetzbarger (they/them) is a campus life reporter for The Front. They are in their third year at Western, majoring in Environmental Journalism. In their free time you can find them climbing rocks and playing with their cat. You can contact them at

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