Purdue Green Week to celebrate sustainability

September 22, 2011

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University's annual Green Week kicks off Monday (Sept. 26) with an international sustainability symposium and a lecture by actor and eco-living advocate Ed Begley Jr.

The week includes tours of the new Roger B. Gatewood Wing of the Mechanical Engineering Building, Purdue's first LEED-certified facility; a video chat with Purdue Solar Decathlon INhome Team members, who are in Washington, D.C., to compete in an international competition sponsored by the Department of Energy; an alternative transportation expo; a Wabash River cleanup; and an unwanted medicine drop-off.

"During Green Week, Purdue celebrates its success in achieving increased sustainability on campus and in our community," said Michael Gulich, the university's director of sustainability. "But we also encourage and equip everyone to do more."

Begley, famous for decades for biking throughout car-dependent Los Angeles, will encourage his audience with the theme "Live Simply So Others Can Simply Live." The Discovery Lecture Series event is at 7:30 p.m. Monday (Sept. 26) in Fowler Hall. Begley will hold a book signing from 4-5 p.m. in Stewart Center's Fowler Atrium.

Discovery Park also is sponsoring the China-U.S. 2011 Joint Symposium on Sept. 25-28. The EcoPartnership China-U.S. Joint Research Center for Ecosystem and Environmental Change will examine the prospects and challenges of growing the biology-based economy. The meeting annually brings together top Chinese and American researchers from six research institutions in the areas of biofuels and alternative energy, environmental impacts, and climate.

Purdue Memorial Union perks the week up by offering free coffee all day on Tuesday (Sept. 27) for those bringing reusable mugs (16 ounce or less) to Urban Markey, Pappy's, Flatbreads or Oasis.

The Alternative Transportation Expo moves this year to Memorial Mall and Stadium Mall for a vehicle show from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday (Sept. 28). The expo will include an airplane that runs on biofuel developed by a Purdue Research Park-based company, Swift Enterprises Ltd.; a Navistar eStar, an all-electric delivery vehicle manufactured in Wakarusa, Ind.; and Smart Car test drives by Smart Center of Indianapolis. Purdue exhibitors will include the Purdue Solar Racing Team, two student-built electric motorcycles and a student-built electric Porsche 924. The Purdue Cycling Club will offer free bicycle tune-ups during the event.

The first 50 volunteers who sign up online will get to help clean up the banks of the Wabash River beginning at 3 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 29). Volunteers will receive gloves and bags. The 12,000 students living in residence halls will celebrate Water Day with The Power Shower Challenge, an effort to minimizing water usage by keeping their showers to less than three minutes.

Green Week concludes Friday (Sept. 30) with a Sustainable World Expo from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Green-focused businesses, clubs and organizations will have booths along Stadium Mall to showcase what they do. Unused or expired medicines can be dropped off at the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant booth from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Information about Green Week and Purdue's sustainability efforts is available at http://www.purdue.edu/sustainability/. The site includes links to sign up for events requiring advance registration.

Gulich, who joined Purdue this summer as director of sustainability, can be contacted to provide additional information about Green Week activities.

Writer: Jim Schenke, 765-494-6262, jschenke@purdue.edu 

Source: Michael Gulich, mgulich@purdue.edu

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