Updated: Create sustainable change this Earth Month

YorkU_EarthMonth BANNER

Update: New information after publication of this article indicates the tree planting events have been rescheduled. The new dates are listed below.

Throughout the month of April, York University looks to commemorate Earth Month by inviting the community to engage in activities and events that advance and celebrate the University’s commitment to a sustainable future.

Every action matters, which is why the York community is invited to create positive change this month in celebration of Earth Day, Earth Week and Earth Month. By engaging in sustainable living – the practice of understanding how individual lifestyle choices affect the world collectively – and finding ways to live better together, each one us can create sustainable change in our communities, on our campuses and around the world

“While institutions, governments and private companies need to make investments in transitioning to a low carbon economy, we also need to demonstrate our personal commitment,” says Mike Layton, York’s chief sustainability officer. “It can be as simple as reducing what we consume by buying local and less, diverting waste from landfill by composting and recycling, or taking public transit to work instead of driving.”

This Earth Month, community members are invited to attend York’s annual campus tree planting and clean-up events at the Keele and Glendon campuses in collaboration with the student group Regenesis and Facilities Services. Registration is encouraged and the details are as follows:

Keele Campus

Campus Clean Up
Monday, April 22
12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Tree Planting
Tuesday, April 30
12:30 to 2 p.m.

Glendon Campus

Tree Planting and Campus Clean Up
Thursday, May 2
12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Other events happening throughout the month include a WWF Living Planet Leader Certification Workshop, where students can learn how to lead impactful initiatives, and another event titled The Future is Now – A Dialogue on Climate Hope, where participants will have the opportunity to share their personal insights on topics related to climate anxiety, sustainability, the role of community in their lives and strategies for feeling empowered in the face of the climate crisis.

The C4: Cross-Campus Capstone Classroom will also once again host Capstone Day, an event where students showcase projects they have been working on over the past year that relate to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

The events – and York’s overall celebration of Earth Month – reflect how, since the launch of its University Academic Plan in 2020, the University has made significant progress in advancing its sustainability initiatives and enhancing its impact on the UN SDGs. The University is currently among the top 40 institutions for global leadership on advancing the UN SDGs in the 2023 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings and has been named as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for 11 consecutive years.

Recently, the University announced its plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2040, a decade earlier than originally planned. This new pledge is part of York’s renewed sustainability policy, which also includes a commitment to develop and implement a process to track, measure, evaluate and report progress toward net-zero emissions. 

Sustainability has been well integrated into every part of the University – from its wide array of sustainability-focused courses and partnerships, like the Global Water Academy, to campus sustainability features easily accessible throughout its campuses. Last year, the University also launched the Microlecture Series in Sustainable Living, an open-access program that gives participants the opportunity to learn from six of York’s world-renowned academic experts on a diverse range of topics related to sustainability.

To build on its strong repertoire of sustainability work, York recently launched a new, $1-million Sustainability Innovation Fund to invest in projects led by York students, faculty and staff that support the University’s goals.

Join York in creating sustainable change this Earth Month as well as during Earth Week (April 21 to 28) and on Earth Day on April 22. To learn more and get involved, visit York’s Earth Month website.