Earth Day @ SJSU

Mayor Chuck Reed to Speak on San José’s Green Vision During Sustainability Week at SJSU

View a Sustainability Week event schedule.

Contact: Lynne Trulio, 650-740-9446, Pat Lopes Harris, 408-924-1748

SAN JOSÉ, Calif., — In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, San José Mayor Chuck Reed will give the keynote address for Sustainability Week at 3:15 p.m. Thursday, April 22, in Engineering 189. The public is invited to engage Mayor Reed in conversation on newly-formed collaborations between the city and the university, as well as the progress the city is making on its award-winning Green Vision program. This event is free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible. Earth Day originated with a proposal made by San José State alumnus and U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson.

San José’s Green Vision encompasses such far-reaching goals as creating 25,000 clean-tech jobs, reducing the city’s per capita energy use by 50 percent, acquiring 100 percent of the city’s electricity from clean and renewable sources, diverting all waste away from landfills, and planting 100,000 new trees by 2022. San José State has begun collaborating with the city on developing a green workforce and supporting green building projects. These are just a few facets of SJSU efforts to further embrace sustainability throughout campus.

Sustainability Week, beginning Monday, April 19, is presented by the Environmental Resource Center in cooperation with the Office of the President’s Sustainability Initiative and Associated Students of SJSU. Campus sponsors include: the Career Center, Spartan Shops, Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering, Environmental Club, Nutrition Education Action Team, and the Environmental Studies Department. Other sponsors include the city of San José, Veggielution Community Farm, Whole Foods Market, Sacred Heart Community Service and California Rare Fruit Growers.

Sustainability Week events are all free and open to the public, including a presentation on recent sustainability efforts at SJSU (Monday), panels on green careers and corporate environmental and social responsibility (Tuesday), a special session with Rosemary Cambra, chairwoman of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe (Wednesday), and a memorial service for Frank Schiavo, renowned environmental activist and SJSU educator (Thursday).

San José State has embraced environmental activism in a variety of forms over the years. The school’s Environmental Studies Department, one of the oldest in the country, was founded in 1970 by internationally recognized renewable energy expert and architect Donald Aitken. That year, as part of a weeklong series of events called the Survival Faire, a group of SJSU students purchased a car and buried it on campus in a show of disdain for internal combustion engines and the pollution of the environment.
San José State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 27,400 students and 3,190 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.