Earth Week promotes sustainability with week-long events

Emma Van Epps holds an Earth-friendly sign.

Mississippi State University's Office of Sustainability hosted Earth Week from April 19 to April 22.

During the week, students had the opportunity to learn about Earth Day and participate in related activities.

Students were invited to join other environmental activists to celebrate the earth and advocate for sustainability.

The week presented activities such as a sustainable fashion show and a campus clean up.

The fashion show entitled "Flower Power" featured Mary Jones, who is a local designer and creator of Pink Plaid Vintage.

Within two months of planning, Jones and the MSU Climate Reality Project created a sustainable collection for 20 individuals to feature in the show.

"Events such as 'Flower Power' are important to shed awareness on trivial problems that we have a hand in," Jones said. "Power is held in the multitudes."

Jones said she believed it was important for the community to gather and thought the fashion show accomplished this goal.

Raised in the Starkville community, Jones has been a sustainable clothing activist in town for years.

Jones explained how her activism was linked to her belief of clothing playing a large role in life.

“Whether it is being worn or bought on a daily basis, it is still being consumed,” Jones expressed.

Jones shared how her business, Pink Plaid Vintage, assisted in reducing the waste of clothing production.

"I am intentional of the purchases I decided to make, eventually leading into the cultivation of entirely secondhand textiles and materials," Jones said. “Although the waste ethics on clothing production are poor, Pink Plaid aids in bringing light and creation to the matter.”

Jones reiterated her statement that the community could improve by coming together often.

"I think the Starkville Strong movement is a beautiful way of presenting ways to help, ways to plug in to the community," Jones said. "When this awareness is not brought to the table, the community can often fall short on what is productive in the long run."

Clay Roberts, a sophomore majoring in business, said he thinks hosting Earth Week events is beneficial.

"I think Earth Week is important on campus because it's important to acknowledge the risk our planet is in," Roberts said. "Often, we overlook the imminent danger our climate is facing for the sake of convenience."

Earth Week included events that informed attendees on advocating for better environmentalism on campus.

Madelyn Hunter, a junior majoring in biochemistry, said Earth Week was well-organized.

"I think the Earth Week festivities were an overwhelming success. Josie Nasekos and Mary Jones did an amazing job organizing the 'Flower Power' event that took place Wednesday on the Drill Field," Hunter said.

Hunter was able to participate as a model in the show.

"I was honored to walk in the fashion show, which was entirely comprised of clothes that Mary designed using recycled materials and natural dyes," Hunter said.

Hunter said this experience also promoted sustainability throughout the community.

The week concluded Friday, April 22, with an Earth Day Fair on the Drill Field. Activities included a food truck and games.

According to Hunter, support for sustainability should be combined with fun.

"While certainly there is much hard work that has to be done, showing students that sustainability can be fun and engaging really increases the likelihood that they will commit to doing the less fun things: sorting recycling, cleaning up litter and advocating for change at the university level," Hunter said.

Hunter believed that the week had been a success.

"I think Earth Week is meant to be a celebration and a time for more people to become aware of the ways that they can help, and I think it definitely succeeded in that this year," Hunter said.

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