Variety of Events Planned for Earth Week at PA

Earth Day hits middle age this year on its 40th anniversary April 22. Andover will recognize Earth Day for the 20th straight year through environmentally oriented discussions, presentations and activities as part of Andover’s annual Earth Week program. Earth Week begins Tuesday, April 20 and runs until Saturday, April 24. Andover’s program will focus on global issues such as energy policy, sustainability and climate change. Filmmakers Ian Cheny and Curt Ellis, creators of the acclaimed films, “King Corn” and “Big River,” will participate in Andover’s Earth Week for the second time. Aggie Kip, School Nutritionist, received an Abbot Grant to bring the filmmakers to campus. Kip said, “I chose Ian and Curt because they are interesting, smart, affable people, and what they are doing is important.” According to Kip, Cheny and Ellis will discuss their recent film documentary, “Truck Farm,” a project that documents an attempt to create and sustain a mobile farm on the back of a truck. Chaney and Ellis will arrive April 20th and will bring their “farm” to the Den. Kip said that Cheny and Ellis have agreed to leave an opening in their contract where they will be available to carry out activities that students suggest. Jessica Blake ’10, Elaine Kuoch ’11 and Michelle Ma ’11, Co-Heads of Eco-Action, an on-campus organization devoted to environmental awareness, received an Abbot Grant to bring Annie Leonard, creator of the “Story of Stuff Project,” to speak at All-School Meeting. Leonard will discuss her project, a documentary on sustainability and a criticism of consumerism. Kuoch said that they chose Leonard as the Earth Day speaker because it is evident in her film, “The Story of Stuff,” that she is an interesting and exciting speaker. Blake said, “We wanted someone who students could connect with. Annie Leonard’s ideas and films are applicable to students because they encourage people to change everyday things and make small differences.” The co-heads also said they chose Leonard in hopes that her speech and ideas will be very accessible to students, in contrast to last year’s speaker, Colin Beavan, Creator of the No Impact Man Project. Kuoch said, “We want the students to take away little things that they can do, and not just on Earth Day.” “I hope they take an extra moment and think about putting their plastic bottles in recycling rather than the trash, and little efforts like that,” she continued. A sustainable dinner will be served in Paresky Commons on April 20 in accordance with the Earth Week theme. Multiple campus guests will present in a lunch symposium and serve on a panel on climate change, including Andover parents that work with climate policy, a faculty member of Harvard University and various employees of energy companies. The lunch and panel are new additions to the Earth Day program this year. The symposium on climate change will address the scientific, business and political aspects of global climate modifications. Edward Krapels, CEO of Anbaric Holdings LLC and guest speaker for the lunch symposium said, “We hope the symposium will address the issue of climate change by posing the question, ‘where do we go from here?’” “My portion of the panel will focus on execution of projects that have been developed to meet climate change goals. Students at PA and elsewhere are bombarded with a lot of information about many aspects of climate change, but have few encounters with people whose job it is to build and execute the enterprises that address and propose to mitigate climate change. I hope that [my presentation] will provide some insight on ‘how to get things done,’” he continued. “There is so much more awareness of our impact on the Earth,” said Kip. “Students are always asking why we are not doing more for the environment.” “My hope is that, eventually, what we do on Earth Week will be what we do throughout the year,” she continued. Trish Russell, Sustainability Coordinator, John Rogers, Dean of Studies, Kip, and Eco-Action members organized this year’s Earth Week.