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Earth Month Opportunities Abound

Earth Month provides us an opportunity to celebrate our achievements and renew our pledge as a University and as individuals to respond to the urgent need for climate action, as articulated by Pope Francis in his 2015 encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home. Sustainability is the responsibility of all of us.

Thanks for Celebrating Earth Month 2022 with Us!

We appreciate all who helped us celebrate Earth Month! The following are some of the areas on campus who hosted opportunities and helped with Earth Month festivities throughout April 2022:

  • Campus Ministry invited OSP to help sponsor a very special night-before Earth Day field trip to Holy Family Shrine. The evening included a plant-based meal, lively discussion about environmental activism, and a Taizé prayer service.
  • Creighton Wellness created a special Go Green Wellness Challenge to encourage participants to adopt sustainable habits into their daily routine.
  • Reinert Library created a wonderful Earth Month display showcasing books and movies in honor of our common home.
  • Lieben Center for Woman incorporated sustainability themes (eco-friendly fashion and reusables) into two events (Women's Journey and Vibe and Paint).
  • Sustainability Roundtable - In partnership with our friends at MCC, UNO, and UNMC, Creighton co-sponsored a panel from area organizations focused on sustainability efforts.
  • Alumni Panel - Our friends at Santa Clara University invited Creighton to co-host an alumni panel focused on how young alums are putting their degrees into action to help the environment. Michael Galeski ('20) was one of three panelists.

Spirit of Laudato Si’ Award!

Each year the Spirit of Laudato Si' Sustainability Award is given to a sustainability champion. The award is presented at a special Earth Day celebration in April.

2022 Spirit of Laudato Si’ Sustainability Award Winners

Emma Yackley

  • Emma Yackley, a medical anthropology major and member of the Creighton Women’s Soccer team, was nominated for her work with the Creighton University Athletics Department-Athlete Advisory Committee, where she has been a constant where she serves on the executive board and has been a constant source of creative ideas.
  • During the fall 2021 semester, she organized two “Green Games” during a men’s and women’s home soccer game where campus and community organizations promoted sustainability and environmental best practices. She has also worked with campus food service provider, Sodexo, and Creighton’s Office of Sustainability Programs to introduce compostable products and led efforts to provide a sustainable single-use cup for weight rooms and training rooms. She also organized an Athletics Department-wide service project to celebrate Earth Day.

Creighton Dining

  • Creighton Dining, a partnership between Sodexo and Housing and Auxiliary Services, was recognized for their composting efforts. Creighton Dining – specifically Danny Steiner, Sheila Daley and the entire Brandeis and Wareham Court Sodexo staff – was nominated for its work implementing and maintaining composting in Brandeis and Wareham Court in cooperation with the Office of Sustainability Programs.
  • Implementing a new waste stream in an extremely busy environment is a difficult task that involves significant coordination and dedication. Steiner and Daley have worked tirelessly to ensure composting runs smoothly day to day, as has the back-of-house staff in Brandeis and Wareham, who also deserve special mention as they do the work, day in and day out.
  • Composting at Creighton simply would not be possible without the commitment of the Sodexo staff.

Criteria

The annual award identifies and recognizes Creighton University students, staff, faculty, and groups from across the University who are engaged in making an impact on, and developing a culture of, caring for our common home through campus sustainability and environmental justice efforts. Their efforts can include generating awareness, implementing strategic projects, or catalyzing new initiatives. Sustainability issues are intentionally broadly defined and may include an overlap of environmental, technological, economic, political, socio/cultural, philosophical, or theological approaches focused on social and environmental equity and justice.

The award(s) will be presented each year during April as part of Creighton’s Earth Month celebration. Nominations should describe the result of efforts observable in the campus community over the last year.

Nominations can be made for groups (either formal or informal groups) or individuals. Self-nominations are encouraged. Nominations should be no less than one paragraph and no more than one page.

The committee reserves the right to award more than one award each year.

In addition to the annual award described above, the selection committee may award two special awards: Community Partner and Distinguished Career.

Each submission will be evaluated on one or more of the following categories contained within the St. Francis/Laudato Sí Pledge, which states “I pledge to pray, live, and advocate Laudato Sí:”

  • Prayer and Reflection: Environmental and social justice activities associated with developing a deeper concern for the gift of God’s creation and the poor and vulnerable impacted by our lifestyles. Examples include organizing and attending service trips and community engagement opportunities through SCSJ and coordinating and participating in events through Campus Ministry.
  • Live: Modelling behaviors and/or encouraging change to address climate change and environmental degradation as evidence of solidarity with those who suffer the consequences of our lack of respect for God’s gift of Creation. Examples include choices to engage in simpler, low consumption, and less materialistic lifestyles and encouraging others to do the same.
  • Advocate: Becoming a meaningful, critical, informed voice of the poor, the vulnerable, and those who have been discriminated against by systematic racism in demonstration of Catholic principles and priorities at local, state and national policies to address environmental justice and climate change. Examples include leading public forums focused on environmental justice issues such as increasing sustainable energy, decreasing use of fossil fuels, and fair voting rights.