This week, Canisius is celebrating Earth Week, a nationwide effort to increase awareness about the environment, culminating in Earth Day on Friday. All across the country, events related to Earth Week and Earth Day are being held, discussing issues regarding the environment that are particularly relevant to the current times, especially as concern over the environment has increased over the last few years. At Canisius, events commemorating Earth Week have been held throughout the week. The Griffin talked to some of the people who helped put together one of those events to get a closer look at what goes into Canisius’ environmental efforts.
The Laudato Si’ Earth Day Celebration being held this year takes place on both Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23. We spoke to Professor Lodi-Smith of the Department of Psychological Sciences, who is organizing the celebration, about what. The celebration starts at 9:30 a.m. on Friday with “Bird-friendly Coffee Hour,” and will be followed by discussions about Canisius and its relationship with the environment led by both students and professors, finishing with a plant-based lunch. On Saturday, it continues with cleanup efforts in the Buffalo area. “We have brought together a wonderful program of students, faculty, staff and community members for a morning of celebration, learning, and thinking about what we can do as individuals,” Lodi-Smith said.
This is the first time an event of this sort is being held, but the hope is that it becomes an annual event for Earth Week. The event springs out of Pope Francis’s letter “Laudato Si’: On Care For Our Common Home,” in which the Pope calls for preservation of the environment. Carlo Mastrodonato, who is helping to organize the celebration as a part of an Undergraduate Student Association sub-committee, said “we have such a beautiful campus and we must do everything in our power to preserve its beauty for years to come.” The event is geared towards raising awareness about environmental issues in general and inspiring people to take more action in regards to the environment.
The celebration takes place on Friday. “With an event like the one Friday, we can really educate students why recycling is imperative,” Mastrodonato said, “Why you should opt for no straw over a plastic straw. Why something as simple as turning off a dorm light switch will immediately sustain ourselves. Our goal is to educate students that the littlest changes in lifestyle will have a monumental impact on our future.”