Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
“350 is more than just the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in our atmosphere measured in parts per million; it is a worldwide campaign to address the omnipresent issue of global warming,” says the website for the international 350 campaign. International Climate Day of Action is October 24, 2009, and in conjunction with that, Earthlust is hosting 350 week, an initiative to raise environmental awareness on campus. Earthlust member Hannah Jones ’12 said, ”It’s not just about hitting that number, it’s a symbol to rally around and a goal to rally around.”
Part of 350 week is aimed at emphasize the two-fold goals engendered by the movement. Zein Nakhoda ‘12 said, “There are really two versions: the science, which is our best estimate of where we need to be, and the social movement.” The first step is to create an initiative where world leaders can make change. The 350 movement‘s goal is to strengthen the international treaty currently being made in Copenhagen by the United States and others.
America, however, is one of the most culpable countries in terms of carbon emissions. Despite a new administration, which according to Nakhoda “at least acknowledges global warming,” other issues such as healthcare or the economy are the main focus. “Regardless of Obama’s intentions, he will not make the necessary changes unless public outcry is calling for it, and that is what 350 is about: to show that it is essential,” Jones said.
In the context of Swarthmore, Earthlust’s activities are focused on engaging in a dialogue about policy and environmental developments, such as locally-grown food and all the factors that 350 encompasses. 350 week “is highlighting ways that are not radical lifestyle changes that will make a difference,” said Jones. “Every individual has a place,” Nakhoda added. For example, on Wednesday there was an Alternative Menstrual Products Workshop, which according to Jones is a “taboo issue.” “I personally was very skeptical about them…but now I’m totally turned around,” said Jones.
The full week’s schedule of events, many of which are yet to come, is below, courtesy of Earthlust.
Joanna Pernick, Director of Farm to City: Kohlberg 228, 4:30PM
Want to learn more about community-building through locally-grown food? Joanna Pernick will be presenting a talk on the pros and cons of the local food movement.
Tie-dye Party: Paces, 7:30-8:30PM
Ease your way back into things after break; come chill & tie-dye with Earthlust. Also come to learn more about 350 and our jam-packed week of climate change action and education. Bring your own clothes to tie-dye.
Green Iron Chef: Shane Lounge, 10:00PM
The epic showdown everyone’s been waiting for… the Green Iron Chef Party! Ten teams have each put their best dish forward for YOU to eat and rate. Come one come all to eat home-cooked food and learn more about Earthlust’s 350 week of climate change action!
Alternative Menstrual Products Workshop: WRC, 4:30-6:00PM
Calling all menstruators: Tired of your current expensive and uncomfortable menstrual products? Concerned that billions of tampons and menstrual pads are used and thrown into sewers and landfills every year? There are cheaper, more comfortable options that are better for your body! Come hear more and join a wider a discussion.
Food Not Bombs Speaker: Hicks Mural Room, 4:30PM
Since 1980, the Food Not Bombs movement has been active worldwide in fighting to end world hunger, violence, and the destruction of the Earth. Check out what it’s all about & see how you can get involved!
County Wide Clean Energy Summit: Delaware County Community College, 10:00-12:30PM
State Rep. Bryan Lentz will host a Clean Energy Summit to discuss the environmental, economic and national security benefits of renewable energy, energy efficiency and tackling global warming for Pennsylvania. Go to pennenvironment.org for more info and to RSVP.
Dinner with Swarthmore Chickens Project, Sharples, 5-6:00PM (Meet atop Sharples at 4:50PM)
Heard about the chickens potentially coming to campus? Come with questions and concerns and learn about the Chickens Project and sustainable food.
350 Variety Show!: Sci 101, 7:00-9:00PM
Vibrations, Essence of Soul, Sixteen Feet, Vertigo-Go, Grapevine, Mixed Company, Silbia Han and the Sunshine Boys, and 350 Presentations. How could you miss this?
Drop it ‘Cause it’s Hot: Olde Club, 10:00-2:00AM
Kick back and celebrate a week of sustainability and community with Earthlust! (SAC Funded)
Swarthmore Power Shift Delegation leaves for Power Shift PA!
In the early morn the Swat delegation will head to Penn State for a weekend of learning and 350 action!
Recycled Sculpture Collaborative, Beardsly, Sculpt: 12:00AM-5:00PM, Paint: 8:00PM-8:00AM
Five hours of collaborative sculpting of recyclables and then twelve hours of painting the sculpture, all are welcome!
Swarthmore Co-op Local Food Festival, The Ville, 11:00AM-3:00PM
A celebration of local food producers & growers, come smell, taste & sample foods from our region. Come for authentic BBQ, grilling demos, and the chance to meet local farmers and producers. For more info go to www.swarthmore.coop.