Sustainability Month: April at Cornell blossoms with events

April is Sustainability Month at Cornell, and the campus will bloom with exhibits, lectures, a bike rally, a fun run, environmental fashion and learning how to keep this blue planet green:

Michael Pollan, environmentalist and best-selling author, speaks on “Out of the Garden” April 27 at the 2017 Iscol Distinguished Environmental Lecture. For a quarter-century, Pollan has written about where nature and culture intersect: On our plates, in our farms and gardens, and in the built environment. Hosted by the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. The event is scheduled for 5 p.m. in Call Auditorium, Kennedy Hall.

They’re back! Big Red Bikes is launching its bike share program April 14. Celebrate at the ribbon-cutting ceremony outside Kennedy Hall at 3:15 p.m. and then ride over to Arts Quad for two-wheeled activities and raffles at 4 p.m. Bring your own bikes, if you wish.

Do good. Look good. You’ll look marvelous at the “ECOuture – Designers Tailor Fashion to a Green World” fashion show April 15. Hosted by the Cornell Environmental Collaborative (ECO) the event seeks to promote sustainable fashion and design. The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art.

Springfest! lauds Earth Day, recognizing campus environmental programs, clubs and collaborations across campus. The festival, April 20, features food and art vendors, musical performances. The event is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Ho Plaza.

If you think you’ll never see a poem as lovely as a tree, consider the poetic: “The Value of Trees,” an outdoor exhibition April 18 highlighting the Arts Quad’s trees. The exhibition will display posters calculating trees’ environmental, cooling and pollution-reduction values, and storm water capture, starting at 1 p.m.

A Plastic Ocean
David Jones/Provided
A still from the documentary film "A Plastic Ocean," showing plastic debris floating off the coast of Sri Lanka.

Run just for the green of it at the Earth Day 5K April 22, 10 a.m. at Cornell’s F.R. Newman Arboretum. Funds will support Sustainable Tompkins, Cayuga Nature Center and the Finger Lakes Land Trust. Hosted by Cornell’s Society for Natural Resources Conservation.

If you’re looking to recycle your home or office electronics – such as computers, televisions and phones – then celebrate E-Scrap Week (April 10-14) by dropping your unwanted e-things at Cornell’s Recycle Center, 251 Solidago Road, Ithaca, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Information: or 607-254-1666.

The noted documentary, A Plastic Ocean,” screens April 24 for free at Cornell Cinema, Willard Straight Hall Theatre at 7 p.m. Follow two explorers as they travel the world documenting plastic pollution and its impact on the environment, ecosystems and human health.

Like an arms race over the millennia, the monarch butterfly has evolved to coexist with the incredibly toxic milkweed. Hear the talk April 13, “Monarchs and Milkweed: A Migrating Butterfly, a Poisonous Plant and Their Remarkable Story of Coevolution,” by Anurag Agrawal, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. His new book, “Monarchs and Milkweed,” was published by Princeton University Press. At this event, scheduled for 4 p.m. in the Stern Seminar Room of Mann Library, Buffalo Street Books will offer Agrawal’s book for purchase and signing.

To find more events, go to the Sustainable Campus web page.

Media Contact

Melissa Osgood