The University of Wollongong will be the home of environmental awareness next week when celebrations begin for the 40th annual World Environment Day.
On campus events have an eye to engaging students and promoting the idea of a more sustainable future.
Alexandra McPaul of the Environmental & Sustainable Initiatives Unit (ESI) at UOW, believes the week provides a great opportunity to educate students on environmental sustainability.
“Often when you hold events you get the same people coming every time which is why this year we’ve decided to go with events which are less obvious or expected,” says McPaul.
“Any opportunity we get to engage with people we do because we really enjoy interacting with people and getting that message out there.”
Events will include a comedy debate, an EnviroFilm screening, composting workshop, food swap and much more.
The Great Comedy Debate will be held on the McKinnon Lawn at 12:30pm on Wednesday with special guest panelist Alex Dyson, from Triple J, spearheading the proceedings.
“The two teams will be debating whether people should be punished for leaving food on their plate and it’s about raising that issue of food waste but in more fun way,” says McPaul.
“It’s something that we think will be a success because it’s a bit different and engaging for the audience.”
ESI will also be teaming up with the student run UOW Environment Collective to host an EnviroFilm screening in Building 11 on Tuesday at 5:30pm.
Bess Murphy of the Enviro-Collective thinks the value of a week of celebration can not be underestimated.
“The ESI approached us and asked if we would like to hold a special screening for the week and we thought it was a great idea,” says Murphy.
“Every day should be World Environment day; I think it’s really important to have these sorts of events because they reach out to the wider public and show people how important our environment is.”
The 40th anniversary of the event, run by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has adopted the theme of Think.Eat.Save with the focus being on reducing food waste.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, households in New South Wales waste up to $2.5 billion worth of edible food each year.
“When you think about all the energy involved in food waste like transportation, refrigeration and all the effort with growing the food there’s actually a much larger impact on the environment than you would expect,” says Murphy.
Events will be held on campus from June 3 – June 7 and ESI encourages everyone to come and check it out.
For more info contact ESI at: email@example.com
Words: JULIAN KEITH
Audio/Visual: AMELIA LINDSEY
Video: KRISTY O’DONNELL