Red, blue and green

OXFORD – The University of Mississippi and the city of Oxford are teaming up for Green Week this week to encourage awareness of environmental issues in the Lafayette-Oxford-University community.
All events are free and open to the public.
Each day will feature a different aspect of “living green”: Monday – water conservation, Tuesday – energy conservation, Wednesday – Earth Day/World Fest, Thursday – transportation; and Friday – the “Low Carbon Diet.”
“This is the first year we’ve had Green Week,” said Jim Morrison, the campus’ sustainability coordinator. “After the chancellor signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, we wanted to engage the community in a week of education and outreach.”
More than 50 activities and events are on tap. Workshops to be offered include such topics as energy conservation, stormwater retention and use, introduction to solar energy, composting and responsible recycling.
Kevin Butt, general manager and chief environmental officer of Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America Inc., will deliver Green Week’s keynote address Tuesday at 2 p.m. in the Johnson Commons Ballroom.
Student Union Plaza and City Hall will host “Green Plaza” exhibits each day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Local and national organizations will showcase environmental products and services, and the host organizations will highlight campus and municipal efforts to green-up their practices.
Local support
Area businesses will support Green Week participation in several ways. SouthBank will offer free shower timers on Monday to promote saving water, and International Paper will give away free hardwood seedlings on Friday. On Tuesday, downtown restaurants Proud Larry’s, Old Venice Pizza Co. and Two Stick will give discounts to lunch patrons who arrive by bike.
For Thursday’s focus on transportation, cyclists, transit riders and drivers will compare times to see whose commute is quickest and whose requires the least energy. That same day, Ole Miss faculty, staff and students are challenged to carpool with at least two other people.
Already, organizers are looking to expand the Green Week effort next year.
“We’re looking forward to building on this,” Morrison said.
Contact Errol Castens at (662) 281-1069 or errol.castens@djournal.com.

Errol Castens/Daily Journal