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Sustainability series continues, capped by Earth Week
Monday, March 28, 2011

Elizabeth Dodd
Elizabeth Dodd

Debra Rowe
Debra Rowe

Annie Leonard
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Tiffany Vanderwerf

It all comes down to achieving balance.

That multi-faceted principle guided SUNY Fredonia’s Sustainability Committee in crafting a series of speakers, film screenings, and other engagement events, each set to convey a vital message throughout the spring semester. It seemed only natural, then, that “Finding Balance” should be the theme. 

“The earth works in cycles, and within life you have to find balance. If you take out more than you put back in, that’s not sustainable,” said Chemistry Professor Sherri Mason, the coordinator of Earth Week. The earth, she said, works by finding these balance points.

“Environmental issues are often put in opposition to economic issues; that is, doing something environmentally friendly can’t be good for business,” Mason explained.

“However, we’re reaching a new point in our socio-economic system where, because of the costs of energy, that way of thinking has changed,” Mason said. "Now, companies that are green follow environmentally sensitive practices not just to be earth-friendly, but because it saves them money. An economy, she contends, can be prosperous and environmentally friendly."

The Sustainability Speakers series includes:  

  • Dr. Debra Rowe, a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, will speak March 29 in large and small settings to outline the role higher education can have to advance sustainability.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Dodd, a poet of national prominence, delivers the final program April 21. A professor of English and director of Creative Writing at Kansas State University, her published commentaries address ecological issues.

Earth Week returns once again, beginning April 15. This year's activities are slated to include: the “Connections” Duathalon (a biking and running race throughout the Dunkirk/Fredonia community), an eco-fair featuring vendors which have green initiatives, a presentation on environmental writing, a inclusive performing arts event, and the second annual “Shake the Habit” plastic bag-free retail initiative which last year drew roughly 60 area business participants.





In addition to these speakers, the Sustainability Series includes a number of film screenings, which will occur on Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. throughout the month of February at the SUNY Business Technology Incubator in Dunkirk, and on Thursday nights at 7:30 pm in Jewett 101 on the SUNY Fredonia campus.

Other events include the multi-faceted Chautauqua County Green Expo, the Sustainable Taste of Chautauqua, and the Household Electronics Recycling drive, all of which will be occurring on Saturday, March 26 in and around Steele Hall.



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