Earthstock’s success powered by a student duo | Nebraska today

Two environmental studies students from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln used their passion and education to plan (in a matter of months) EarthStock, a celebration of the planet in April.

EarthStock is a series of events hosted by sustainability-related campus entities to educate and unite Huskers around the common goal of a more sustainable future. EarthStock is an entirely student-run event, hosted by the University of Nebraska Student Association. After noticing a vacancy for the EarthStock chair position, second Rachel Summers and senior Kat Woerner applied and were named co-chairs.

In just half the time usually allowed, Summers and Woerner successfully planned a series of events with the support and in collaboration with the Nebraska Water Center, Sustain ONELincoln Earth Day and more.

“We wanted to make sure EarthStock kept going,” Summers said. “I think it’s really important because it raises awareness that there are environmental and sustainability initiatives on campus.”

Summers and Woerner collaborated with organizations to host engaging events including a music festival, stream cleanup, plant sale, block party and clothing swap. The duo were pleased with the turnout, especially for the plant sale, block party and clothes swap, which have proven to be among the most popular events year after year.

Summers and Woerner collaborated with organizations to host engaging events including a music festival, stream cleanup, plant sale, block party and clothing swap. The duo were pleased with the turnout, especially for the plant sale, block party and clothes swap, which have proven to be among the most popular events year after year.

“Students always say swapping clothes is their favorite thing because they have so many clothes they don’t want anymore,” Woerner said. “It’s cool that they can trade them and get things that are new to them. It was sponsored by Sustain ONE, which also held a two-day plant sale. I would say it was really successful because they sold plants. »

Swapping clothes was also a concrete way for students to prevent more items from reaching landfills. This is partly due to changing fashion trends and limited time to access recycling and donation centers, according to Ritu Jadwani, a doctoral student in textiles, merchandising and fashion design whose research focuses on fashion and sustainable textiles.

“Only 12% of clothes are recycled each year, globally, and on average, Americans throw away 80 pounds of clothing each year,” Jadwani said. “Clothing swaps are a way to help people be more sustainable by bringing swaps closer to them. They don’t have to drive anywhere to drop off their clothes or buy new clothes. They can drop off their clothes before the swap and buy a new look during the swap, which is not only affordable, but also gives them a new wardrobe and, most importantly, helps save the environment. Clothing swaps are a great way to become more sustainable and reduce textile waste. »

At the block party, organizations gathered outside the Nebraska Union and set up tables with activities, items and educational materials to show students how they can incorporate sustainability into their lives. daily. The block party is another way to increase the visibility of sustainability on campus.

“A lot of campus sustainability initiatives have kind of been behind the scenes where students have to be in certain specific classrooms or communities to find out what’s going on,” Summers said. “So it’s great when it’s kind of in your face on social media and in front of the Union where everyone is all the time. It really highlights it for people on campus to have a chance to to be more educated about it and just be aware like hey people at your school care about sustainability and climate change.

EarthStock not only fulfilled the desires of the student co-presidents to promote sustainability on campus, but also taught them lessons for the future. Through working with campus organizations, as well as managing money, contracts, and approvals, Summers now has another experience to add to her resume as she pursues her dream of working in the field of environmental policies. As a sophomore, she is ready to continue organizing EarthStock for years to come.

“I really learned a lot from this experience and from Kat Woerner, and I hope to be able to organize EarthStock on my own next year,” she said.

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