Earth Week(s) 2023
Below is a list of events relating to sustainability, happening between April 15-28, either hosted by WWU groups or local community groups. To add an event or alter a listed event, please email SEI Outreach and Communications Coordinator Natalie Sacker at,
Downtown Earth Day Pre-Func Beautification Volunteering: 9am-12:30pm, Downtown Bellingham
Pre-func Earth Day by volunteering with Downtown Bellingham Partnership’s Landscaping Team on April 15th! Make a noticeable difference in Downtown through landscaping, painting, removing graffiti, cleaning alleys, litter cleanup, and doing general beautification Downtown. Grab your friends and spending a morning outside making a difference in the neighborhood. Be ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work! 🌎
Follow the link to Sign-up!
NSEA Starry Creek Work Party: 9am-12pm: Meet at Shuksan Golf Club at 1500 E Axton Rd, Bellingham
Join NSEA as we work with a private landowner to restore habitat along this tributary of Tenmile Creek. Parking and shuttle are available at Shuksan Golf Club at 1500 E Axton Rd, Bellingham.
Follow the link to Sign-up!
Recreation Northwest Work Party: 10am-1pm, Hundred Acre Wood
Recreation Northwest is looking for volunteers to help in their stewardship area. Meet at the Upper Shelter, Fairhaven Park 107 Chuckanut Drive. Volunteers will be removing invasives, spreading decomposed holly compost piles, and transplanting sword ferns. Volunteers should bring gloves, water bottle, appropriate shoes and clothing, and a snack if needed. Recreation Northwest will provide tools, water, and gloves if you don’t have your own.
Follow the link to RSVP!
Whatcom Million Trees Project Seedling Potting: 1-3:30pm, Parks Ops at Lakeway & Woburn
Help WMTP get up to 200 more bare-root tree seedlings potted for safe-keeping until they can be planted! A rare afternoon work-party where you can sit down and enjoy socializing while you work!
Follow the link to Sign-up!
SLAY film showing: 4pm, Communications Facility 125 Attend a free showing of “Slay”, sponsored by ESP and Collective Fashion Justice
SLAY is a feature documentary film exploring the interwoven harms caused by fashion’s use of fur, leather and wool. Following investigative filmmaker Rebecca Cappelli as she travels the world uncovering some of fashion’s best kept secrets, a harrowing story of greenwashing, environmental destruction, unjust treatment of workers, and animal exploitation unravels. This film ends positively, exploring solutions and the future of fashion.
Collective Fashion Justice is a not-for-profit organization working to create a total ethics fashion system which priorities the life and wellbeing of people, our fellow animals and the planet before profit. A proud partner on the SLAY documentary, CFJ also works with universities across the world, consults with the fashion industry, and works for legislative change. The organization offers reports and free educational resources to the public.
Emma Hakansson is the founding director of CFJ, she is an author and guest lecturer, and contributed to and features in SLAY. She will be available for Q&A after the screening.
Campus Sustainability Tour: 3:30pm-4:45pm, Meet in Performing Arts Center (PAC) plaza next to “For Handel” sculpture, ending at the VU
Join members of the Sustainability Engagement Institute for a one-hour walking tour of campus to find out what Western is doing to promote sustainability and support social justice. Come learn about the repurposed inner courtyard of historic Miller Hall, how Fisher Fountain in Red Square is controlled by a windmill, and so much more! The Sustainability, Equity, & Justice Fund (SEJF) team will talk about how you can apply for grant funding as well.
Note: This tour will span about a mile of campus, part of which might be on dirt/rocky paths and up/down staircases. For accessibility accommodations, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Intersectional Ecofeminism: 5pm-8pm, Viking Union Multipurpose Room (MPR)
Join us for a discussion about gender, queerness, and identity in the environment with guests from Intersectional Environmentalist. Includes authentic Caribbean cuisine served by Calypso Kitchen and musical performance by Kitty Obsidian and Abby Louise. About Intersectional Environmentalist: Intersectional Environmentalist (IE) is a Black-founded and WOC-led environmental justice education and awareness organization founded in 2020, that has become a leading resource for content and programs that explore environment, culture and identity. IE seeks to shift environmental education, movements, and policy to center environmental justice and the importance of equity in institutional and educational spaces, to ensure a better and safer future for all people, especially those most impacted by the climate crisis. About the panelists: Diandra Marizet Esparza is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the non-profit, Intersectional Environmentalist, and contributing writer to The Intersectional Environmentalist: How to Dismantle Systems of Oppression to Protect People + Planet. Diandra has shared her work speaking at Google, Tazo, Clorox, Method, MSU, Berkley, SXSW and more to help learners explore meaningful shifts towards cultural empowerment + inclusive sustainability. Diandra has also been honored as a 2021 Renaissance Awards Awardee and is based in Houston, TX. Jarre Hamilton is a PhD candidate in anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley and currently oversees research development at Intersectional Environmentalist. Jarre’s work as a certified interpretive guide, environmental educator, and scholar focuses on creating outdoor educational spaces to engage a wide range of public audiences in discussions on science communication and programming, cultural heritage, community engagement, and the environment. Sylvia Hadnot is the founder of Has Everything & Co., and an instructor at the College of the Environment. She is a multicultural educator, artist, systems thinker, storyteller, thoughtful collaborator, a do-er and a unique and effective leader. With a lifetime of adventure under her belt, and a master’s in education focused on anti-racist and urban environmental education, Sylvia brings both traditional academic background and real-world experience into her work.
Note: For accessibility questions or accommodations, please contact Erica Richardson at email@example.com.
Community Resilience Workshop; 3-3:50 pm, VU 567
Guests from Intersectional Environmentalist will lead a workshop centered around Community Resilience. Learn how to build stronger ties in your community and plan an Earth Session, which is an event that combines arts, community, activism, and the environment. Come be part of a space for joy and enthusiasm in environmentalism!
Outback Unplugged; 5-7pm, Outback Outdoor Classroom
Outback Unplugged is an ethnographic-style panel event featuring storytelling from various alumni and others with connection and meaningful experience to the Outback. Following an introduction to the power of storytelling from Diandra Marizet Esparza and Jarre Hamilton from Intersectional Environmentalist, enjoy music from artists with connections to the Outback including: BaddDog Blues and storytelling from Andy Koch, Tracy Spring, and more! There will be food and casual crafting. Participants are encouraged to bring their own craft projects!
NSEA Earth Day Habitat Tour: 12-4pm, NSEA Community Room (3057 E Bakerview Rd Bellingham, WA)
Join Rachel, NSEA Executive Director, on this tour to celebrate Earth Day! Learn what riparian, instream and fish passage barrier removal projects look like in various stages of time. Meet at NSEA at noon, jump on NSEA’s shuttle, view the magic of NSEA's work, and return to NSEA for a warm beverage and snack and chat about the tour experience. We are requesting a $15 donation to cover the costs of fuel and snacks.
We will meet in NSEA's Community Room at noon for introductions and a brief overview of Pacific Salmon, their life-cycle and set expectations for the tour. Please dress for the weather. There will be moderate walking so wear sturdy footwear. Bring water and a sack lunch, if you'd like.
Follow the link to RSVP!
Sustainability Action Plan Engagement Session: 1-3pm, VU 426 A/B
In an effort to make Western’s Sustainability Action Plan more accessible and actionable, and to be responsive to the climate crisis we are facing across the world, the President’s Sustainability Council is updating the 2017 Sustainability Action Plan and needs input from the Western community. In these workshop sessions, councilmembers will share about Western’s sustainability accomplishments since 2017, and participants will be invited to share their sustainability wisdom and contribute their ideas on sustainability priorities. All are welcome! Snacks and beverages will be provided. Other sessions will be held at the April 26th Sustainability Roundtable (see listing below), and on May 8, from 3-5pm in VU 426 A/B.
Follow the link to RSVP!
For questions and accessibility accommodations, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Earth Week Fair: 5pm-8pm, Red Square
The Earth Fair will be a large evening market in Red Square on campus! Earth Fair will feature local musicians, artists, businesses, and campus organizations with an environmental skew gathered in the square. Music will go from 5 - 8pm, and the market will start at 4. There will be food for purchase from delicious local food trucks. Come celebrate the Earth with us!
For questions and accommodations please contact the Environmental Justice Program Coordinator Natalie Harris at email@example.com
Earth Day Community Work Party at Sehome Arboretum: 9am-12pm, Sehome Arboretum
Join the more than 1 billion people worldwide who celebrate Earth Day by joining the City of Bellingham, WWU LEAD, Whatcom Million Trees Project, and Washington Trails Association for a volunteer work party. Together, we will restore habitat in the Sehome Arboretum by planting native trees, removing invasive species, spreading mulch, and more.
Meet in the WWU parking lot located near the intersection of Billy Frank Jr. Street and East Ivy Street.
Follow the link to see more details.
NSEA & Whatcom Conservation District Earth Day Work Party: 9am-12pm, Nooksack River, Ferndale
Join NSEA and the Whatcom Conservation District as we continue restoration along the mainstem of the Nooksack River, home to all five species of Pacific salmon and steelhead.
RE Sources Earth Day Park Clean-up: 12-2pm, Maritime Heritage Center (1600 C St, Bellingham)
Join RE Sources for a community clean-up on Earth Day! Bagels will be provided by The Bagelry. RE Sources provides cleanup supplies, on a first come first serve basis. Dress for the weather.
Plastic pollution is a concern for water quality and wildlife everywhere, and has even been discovered in drinking water and table salt worldwide. Recent research found that Pacific Ocean juvenile fish have been consuming microplastic particles in their first days of life, with not-yet understood health consequences.
RE Store 30th Anniversary Party: 3-8pm, The RE Store 2309 Meridian St, Bellingham
The RE Store is excited to host a free, all-ages party on Earth Day to celebrate 30 years of supporting local reuse in Bellingham. This outdoor event will feature live performances by The Legendary Chucklenuts and True Stars, as well as a beer garden, hot dog stand, Ragfinery’s Community Mending Booth, and yard games built by The RE Store’s Revision Division.
The RE Store is throwing this party to thank everyone that has helped them achieve their goals of diverting reusable resources from the landfill and providing job training to displaced workers. By attending the event or making a donation, you can help The RE Store continue their efforts to make a positive impact on the environment and local community.
Surfrider & Aslan’s Under the Salish Sea: An Earth Day Celebration: 12pm-6pm, Aslan Depot
Join Surfrider and Aslan Depot on the first Saturday of Bellingham Beer Week for an Earth Day celebration like no other! Enjoy live music from local bands, games, food and drink specials, and more! A week-long raffle to raise money for Surfrider Foundation will start on Saturday and the winner will be chosen on Friday (4/28). Earth day inspired costumes are highly encouraged! Don't miss out on this unforgettable day of fun and sustainability! All ages welcome until 6pm.
See more information here.
Respect Your Mother: An Earth Day Drag Show; 6:30-9pm, Underground Coffeehouse (VU)
Come see Royal Gambit Drag Club in their Earth day-themed drag show on April 22nd! Doors open for RSVP at 6pm and general admission at 6:20! Show starts at 6:30! RSVP for guaranteed admission! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for disability accommodations! 18+ Bring tips!
RSVP on WIN
Outdoor Center Flora and Fauna Hike; 11am-2pm, Sehome Arboretum/Outdoor Center (VU 150)
Join the Outdoor Center in partnership with the AS Environmental and Sustainability Programs for an Earth Day walk in Sehome Arboretum practicing bird and plant identification! We'll learn about local ecology, make new friends, play some games, and enjoy springtime in the arb. Meet at the Outdoor Center (Viking Union 150) at 11:00 am. Please bring a waterproof layer, comfortable walking shoes, and a full water bottle!
For Disability Accommodations, please contact the Excursion Coordinators at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 360-650-7677. Disability access information and further resources can be found on Western's Disability Access Center website and the AS Disability Outreach Center.
Outback and ASP presents: Seeds of Vandana Shiva; 7pm-9pm, CF 115
Join the Outback and the ASP for a documentary about Vandana Shiva and her campaign for food sovereignty against monoculture and industrial agriculture interests. Vandana Shiva is also an ecofeminist and promotes food justice around the globe. Come learn about her impact!
Clothing Swap and Repair Fair: 1-4pm, VU MPR
Bring clothes to swap and clothes to repair to the VU MPR! The clothing swap will be facilitated and supported by members of Students for Zero Waste. Student volunteers will provide sewing repair services, supported by Zero Waste Western. Just drop in to participate, or, if you’d like to volunteer to support the event:
Sign-up to volunteer for: The clothing swap or clothing repair
Gather Documentary Screening: 6pm, Academic West 210
Join the Queer Eco-Justice Club for a screening of Gather, a documentary about Native Americans reconnecting with ancient food science methods in order to return life to cultures that were impacted by genocide.
For disability accommodations, contact email@example.com
Sustainable Connections: Waste and Whatnot: What’s new with single-use plastics: 2-3pm, on Zoom
Join Sustainable Connections on April 25 to get caught up to speed with Bellingham’s single-use plastics ordinance. Review the basics, learn what’s new with exempt items, and get tips and resources.
To register on Zoom Follow the link here.
Sustainability Roundtable: 5-7pm VU 565
Join sustainability student leaders and members of the President’s Sustainability Council for a student-focused engagement session on Western’s 2017 Sustainability Action Plan (SAP). In an effort to make Western’s Sustainability Action Plan more accessible and actionable, and to be responsive to the climate crisis we are facing across the world, the President’s Sustainability Council is updating the 2017 Sustainability Action Plan and needs input from the Western community. In these workshop sessions, councilmembers will share about Western’s sustainability accomplishments since 2017, and participants will be invited to share their sustainability wisdom and contribute their ideas on sustainability priorities. All are welcome! Snacks and beverages will be provided.
For questions and accessibility accommodations, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please RSVP: President's Sustainability Council - Sustainability Action Plan Engagement Sessions (office.com)
Fire and Flood documentary showing: 7pm-10pm, AH 100. Q&A with three panelists, also offered on Zoom
Come learn about international Queer food justice and agroecology with a screening of acclaimed film series Fire and Flood: Queer Resilience in the era of Climate Change! The film focuses on the intersection of multiply marginalized identities within food justice and seed sovereignty. The docu-series will be followed by a panel with some of the people who worked on the film. Attendees can join in person or online.
Tara Rodríguez Besosa (they/them/ellx/elle)
Co-Founder of El Departamento de la Comida, Puerto Rico. Member of OtraCosa Queer Land Collective, Borikén.
Tara Rodríguez Besosa was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico in 1983. They were raised in Borikén, El Mar, spent a few years in Florida, and attended architectural school in New York City. They are currently located at the OtraCosa Queer Land Collective (otracosa jaragüal cuir) in San Salvador, Caguas. Tara's favorite tree is the malagueta and their favorite fruit is the star apple. They have experience in construction, solar energy, carpentry, system design, medicinal plants, seeds and more. They are best described as a defender of the rights of nature and queer legacies.
Vanessa Raditz, MPH (they/them)
Filmmaker, Fire & Flood: Queer Resilience in the era of Climate Change; Educator, Queer Ecojustice Project; PhD student, Educational Theory and Practice, University of Georgia.
Vanessa is a queer ecojustice educator and storyteller dedicated to community healing, opening access to land and resources, and fostering a thriving local economy based on human and ecological resilience. Along with Deseree Fontenot, Vanessa was a founding member of the Queer Ecojustice Project in Spring 2016, educating and organizing at the intersection of ecological justice and queer liberation. They are now the Director of the in-production collaborative documentary project Fire & Flood: Queer Resilience in the era of Climate Change, which is part of their doctoral work in Education at the University of Georgia. The project addresses the contextual vulnerability of multiply-marginalized queer, trans, and two-spirit communities to climate change disasters, as well as the lessons for the climate justice movement that comes from these communities' resilience and histories of struggle for liberation.
Natalia M. Villarán-Quiñones (Ella/She/Her)
Community Organizer, Queers4ClimateJustice
Natalia is a Queer and Femme Afro-Caribbean, an intersectional ecofeminist, organizer, and artist based in Puerto Rico. She believes in the transformative and healing power of the community and how important it is to preserve oral and written stories and traditions. As the community organizer for Queers4ClimateJustice, Natalia has opened new conversations with climate justice organizers in PR about inclusion of LGBTQ+ issues, organized a Q4CJ Youth Roundtable for Pride month in 2022, coordinated a cohort of 12 queer and trans organizers from PR to attend the 2023 Creating Change conference in San Francisco, and expanded the reach and relationships of the instagram account @queers4climatejustice. She is also a poet, published in the anthology Puerto Rico en mi Corazón in 2019, and now celebrating her first book: Desamor y Memorias de una Virgo (The Heartbreak and Memories of a Virgo).