The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

Cameron Nielsen

Anthony Chavez speaks to the crowd.

NKU hosts Climate Change Questions and Issues event as a part of Earth week

April 25, 2021

Friday afternoon, professor of law at Chase College of Law Anthony Chavez spoke at the Climate Change Questions and Issues virtual and in-person hybrid event as a part of NKU’s annual Earth Week. 

Earth Week is an annual celebration concerning Earth Day, in which NKU hosts events providing information about the environment, sustainability and climate change.

Chavez gave insight into the science, the numbers with climate change, and U.S policies being implemented to help slow down carbon dioxide emissions. After, he explained simple and specific ways anyone can help with the ongoing issue of climate change. 

“Simple things like, don’t leave lights on, change from more energy-intensive lights to less energy-intensive lights, don’t use as much hot water, contribute plants to the world are all nice helpful things,” Chavez said. 

Chavez also noted specific ways to reduce waste and energy when washing clothing.  

“Looking a little bit more specifically at things you might do—use cold water in your wash, air dry instead of using a drying machine to dry your clothes,” Chavez said. 

Chavez said even dieting can contribute to one’s carbon footprint. 

“Certain foods are more greenhouse gas-intensive, more resource-intensive. You don’t have to radically change your diet, but you can make a change of a meal a week. Which will multiply that by 7 billion people a week, and you get a change in emissions levels that are noticeable,” Chavez said. 

Tiffany Budd, sustainability operations coordinator and organizer and implementer of Earth Week events, is excited to help keep the conversation going about environmental issues during Earth Week. 

“This week gives people a chance to learn what’s out there, how they can be contributing themselves, how they can get others to contribute, and what they can volunteer for. Overall, raising that awareness of climate change, the plastic pollution problem, and so many things out there that we all are experiencing, and that our world is experiencing, and how we can help solve these problems, and what we can do as individuals,” Budd said. 

In addition, Budd said she is happy that the issue of climate change is being addressed during Earth Week, especially for students who want to help but don’t know how. 

“So many students are passionate about [climate change], but they don’t necessarily know where to go to talk about it, or who to ask questions to, or where to voice their opinions,” Budd said. 

Maria Osbourn, a student intern for the Office of Sustainability and junior environmental studies and music major, is glad to have an open space for all participants involved to have an open discussion regarding climate change. 

“Sometimes with climate change, I think it is hard to realize that we all play a part in it because it seems like something that is very abstract. But in actuality, each and every one of us does have an impact no matter how small or big that might be,” Osbourn said. 

Osbourn also noted ways she thinks the university could be better in terms of being a more eco-friendly campus. One way is through the decrease in the use of plastic used on campus. 

“I know if we just take a look in the student union, you can go through and you look in the trash bins, and there is a lot of things in there that go straight to the landfill. So, I hope that is something that everyone can make some room for improvement,” Osbourn said. 

For information about sustainability, visit NKU’s website.

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