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Sustainable Communties

As Carolina and the surrounding Chapel Hill community grows, we’re thinking about how that can be done most sustainably. Sustainability is woven into conversations around urban planning, recreation, agriculture and more. We care about our public spaces, people, roads, greenways, native plants, air, water and trees!

That’s why throughout the month of April, we’re celebrating sustainable communities.

2024 Earth Month Events

Edible Campus Gardens Tour | Edible Campus

Wednesday, April 3 @ 5 – 6 pm

There will be a tour starting at the Pit and continuing towards Davis Library, describing the areas of the botanical gardens and what specific plants are and whether or not they can be eaten. There will also be snacks provided.

Duke University Alternative Proteins Conference | Duke Fuqua School of Business

Friday, April 5 @ 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

All UNC-Chapel Hill students are invited to board the Robertson Bus and head to Duke’s campus for the second annual Alternative Proteins Conference, hosted by the Duke Alt Proteins project. Peter McGuinness (CEO, Impossible Foods) will give the keynote address. Panel discussions will feature speakers from a variety of alt protein startups, venture capital firms and more. Learn more about the Carolina Alt Protein Project. Register for the conference here.

UNC Science Expo | Morehead Planetarium

Saturday, April 6 @ 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Celebrate science with the community at this annual event. Sustainable Carolina will have a table with hands-on activities for families.

FoodCon 2024 | RambleRill Farm

Saturday, April 6 @ 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

FoodCon is an annual conference that celebrates the food and agri-business community. It aims to bring together a diverse audience of students, community members and business professionals who have a shared interest in the sustainable food industry. The event increases awareness and understanding of the sustainable food industry as well as support and grow the industry here in North Carolina and throughout the country. Register here:

Mindfulness Walk & Peaceful Painting | UNC LGBTQ Center & NC Botanical Garden

Monday, April 8 @ 10 am & 2 pm

Kick off Pride Week with a slow-down in nature! Join the Center in the Coker Arboretum for a mindfulness walk guided by a member of the North Carolina Botanical Gardens, followed by an invitation to paint and interpret what you observed on the path. The session will be relaxed and reflective, an opportunity to learn about, enjoy, and paint the beauty in our backyard!

Film Screening with Bophana Center Indigenous Filmmakers | Carolina Asia Center & GETSEA

Tuesday, April 9 @ 6 – 8 pm

Join the Carolina Asia Center and GETSEA for the screening of four short films, which will be simulcast at universities across the country. Each film has been created by Cambodian filmmakers at the Phnom Penh-based Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center. The four films come together under the theme of “Healing, Memory & Care” and coincide with the International Decade of Indigenous Languages campaign. The films include: Dull Trail (Bunong w/ English subtitles), Alive Skin (Khmer w/ English subtitles), Trung (Karvet w/ English subtitles), My Wish (Jarai w/ English subtitles).

The event will open with an introduction to the films and their directors via Zoom prior to each screening location showing the films in person. Following the screening, we will reconvene on Zoom for a discussion with the filmmakers.

Carolina Advocates for Climate Health and Equity Virtual Symposium | Virtual – Zoom

Friday, April 12 @ 12:30 – 5:45 p.m.

This virtual symposium seeks to advance sustainable healthcare in North Carolina and to improve resilience, mitigate climate change, and promote equity. This year’s theme is Educating Ourselves, Our Patients, and Our Communities. Registration is $20 to receive continuing education credit and free to those not seeking credit. Contact Karen Goble ( with any questions.

Campus Clean-Up | Sustainable Carolina

Monday, April 15 @ 11 am – 1 pm

Grab your closed-toe shoes and join us at the Stone Center. We’ll meet on the side of the building on Bell Tower Drive and go from there! We’ll provide reflective vests, trash pickers, gloves and trash bags!

Research Symposium | Sustainable Carolina

Tuesday, April 16 @ 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

For the second year, we’re hosting Carolina Research Symposium in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room at Wilson Library. Speakers will give lightning talks and include: Mike Piehler, Lindsey Smith Tallie, Abhishek (Abhi) Bhatia, Tamlin Pavelsky, Antonia (Toni) Sebastian, Anna Patterson, Chloe Hall and the Center for Public Engagement with Science.

Policy Research Group Series | UNC Public Policy

Tuesday, April 16 @ 3 – 4:15 p.m.

The Policy Research Group welcomes Nathan Chan associate professor at University of Massachusetts at Amherst Department of Resource Economics. Chan will discuss who bears the burden of carbon taxes, looking specifically at households in Washington State. RSVP here.

A Second Life of Campus Trees: Exhibition Opening Reception & Discussion | University Libraries

Tuesday, April 16 @ 5 pm

The trees that beautify and shade our campus have stood witness to the history of the University.   A new exhibit in the Wilson Special Collections Library, “A Second Life of Campus Trees,” looks at how campus partners transform the trunks and branches of downed trees into furniture and works of art.

Festival on the Green Roof | Sustainable Carolina

Wednesday, April 17 @ 2 – 4:45 pm

Join us on the Rams Head Green Roof, where Chase Dining Hall and Rams Head Recreation Center are located. We’ll be handing out a limited number of our 2024 Earth Day t-shirts, created through our student-design contest. There will also be ice cream, games and and activities offered by various University departments.

Flutes in Nature, UNC Flute Studio Spring Recital | UNC Department of Music

Wednesday, April 17 @ 6 – 7:30 pm

This concert takes place in Person Recital Hall at UNC-Chapel Hill.

UNC Sustainability Awards | Ackerman Center for Excellence in Sustainability

April 25

The UNC Sustainability Awards recognize leadership and best practice for three winners: An established and entrepreneurial North Carolina business that shows innovation, initiative and impact in sustainability, as well as a Kenan-Flagler Distinguished Alumnus in Sustainability. For the business awards, our Business Leadership in Sustainability (BLiS) and Student-Athlete Sustainability Initiative (SASI) Associates research businesses and use the frameworks we teach to propose their top choices, and the Kenan-Flagler MBA Net Impact Chapter uses a rigorous selection process to choose the winners from the pool of nominees. For the alumni award, the winner is selected by an internal committee vote. The event provides an opportunity for innovators to share their stories and be recognized by the Kenan-Flagler Business School’s Ackerman Center for Excellence in Sustainability at this invitation-only gala.

Spring BioBlitz | Sustainable Carolina & UNC Department of Biology

April 26 @ 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Join Sustainable Carolina and the UNC Department of Biology for the annual Earth Month BioBlitz! We will be in Battle Grove Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance Area, between Coker Arboretum and Forest Theatre, from 9 am to 12 pm on April 26. Download the iNaturalist citizen science app to partake in the fun.

CLE credit is available for participating students.

Celebration of Undergraduate Research | UNC Office for Undergraduate Research

Wednesday, April 29 @ 2:30 – 5:30 p.m

We’re partnering with the Office of Undergraduate Research to offer a cash prize for a student with a project exemplifying sustainability. This year’s celebration will be held at Alumni Hall at the George Watts Hill Alumni Center on Campus Drive. Students entering the sustainability portion of the program will need to check a box on the Office of Undergraduate Research’s submission form. Then, they’ll need to fill out the form on our website. Visit our blog to learn about last year’s winners.