Updated: Jan 31
For this year's School of Sustainability's 2018-2019 ProMod cohort, the assigned project theme was Earth Hour, which is an international movement by WWF to raise awareness on the human impact on the natural environment with the approach of reconnecting to nature.
Our 8-student cohort and our administrator Matt Nock decided to create a series of five sustainability-themed events. The theme for these events was experienced-based learning designed to allow for individual reflection of the attendees. The idea was to share YOUR sustainability story through these experiences.
On Thursday, March 28th, we held an event called "Ground Yourself in Practice" which involved yoga, sound healing, art workshops, and kombucha tasting which allowed for people to make connections between balanced personal health and with sustainability as a whole.
On Friday, March 29th we hiked up ASU's "A" Mountain/Tempe Butte for a "Sunset Hike" to learn about the relationship between light pollution and dust and the beauty of Arizona's sunsets. We also looked for petroglyphs left by the Hohokam, which revealed that the mountain is sacred to the culture. This allowed attendees to reflect on the environmental impacts in Phoenix and the often overlooked social aspect of sustainability that involves including perspectives before enacting change.
We then held a candlelight dinner called "Friday Night Bites (Without the Lights)" to raise awareness on electricity usage on campus. The food we served was locally-sourced, fair-trade, and sustainable.
We ended the evening by hosting a free movie screening of "REUSE! Because You Can't Recycle The Planet" to raise awareness on the order of importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling.
From Saturday, March 30th to Sunday, March 31st, I led the final event which was backpacking the iconic West Fork Trail in Oak Canyon in Sedona. This 12-mile full immersion into nature included camping, walking in the flooded slot canyon, and enjoying wildlife. The trip allowed for attendees to feel the differences between untouched wilderness and compare it to the city experiences they had over the week and to reflect upon what could be done in Phoenix to address sustainability issues such as light pollution and urban heat island.
Overall, our events were successful. We had a lot of support from our partners, including the SDFC Mindfulness Community, the Center for Mindfulness Compassion and Resilience, two local Phoenix wellness practitioners, and the Arizona Outdoors Club. The
attendee turnout was impressive at every event.
Our next step is to create a promotional video of our process to show future SOS students at orientation.
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