Earth Month 2021

Earth Month 2021 Restore Our Earth with Earth Graphic


Celebrate Earth Day all April long with events and programs offered at MSU and beyond.



Signature Events

Climate Solutions for Michigan Webinar
April 7
SDG 13

Michigan State University is hosting one of over 100 webinars across the U.S. and the world, which will explore region-specific solutions to combat climate change over the next 10 years. As part of the Solve Climate by 2030 project led by Bard College, this webinar will highlight how ambitious state and local action can put us on the path to solving climate change by 2030. The recording is now available.

Spartan Arbor Day 5k
May 1
, 4:30-6 pm
SDG 15

MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities will host a virtual fun run this spring focused on raising funds for the growth and maintenance of campus trees. Arbor Day is observed annually at the end of April. To celebrate the holiday, the inaugural virtual Spartan Arbor Day 5k fun run will be held Saturday, May 1st. As a virtual event, runners will participate on their own schedule and environment. 

Surplus Store and Recycling Townhall - Waste Audit at Home (MSU Science Festival)
April 22
SDG 12

Want to cut back on your waste and track your success? You can! Join MSU Surplus Store & Recycling and the Office for Sustainability for a demonstration and explanation of how to conduct a household waste audit. We'll show you how to get a baseline measurement of your waste, challenge yourself to improve your zero waste habits, and then re-evaluate your waste footprint.

Studio (in) Conversation: Dornith Doherty (MSU Science Festival)
April 22

Join us on Instagram Live as Studio Educator Britta Urness visits the studio of photographer Dornith Doherty. Get a behind the scenes peek at the tools, methods, and spaces that artists use to bring their concepts to fruition. Dornith uses photography, video, and scientific imaging to make stunning photographs the places that support ecological sustainability worldwide. Her work can be seen in the exhibition Seeds of Resistance.

MSU Teaches, Talks and Walks Trees: The Spartan Tree Campus Legacy (MSU Science Festival)
April 28, 6:20 - 6:50 pm

With over 20,000 trees in MSU’s arboretum, every tree has a story and is part of the MSU legacy. Learn about the important role trees play in sequestering carbon, combatting climate change and creating a sustainable, resilient campus! Also, explore how campus trees are part of experiential learning, research and education. This session highlights how 100% of fallen trees are repurposed through the MSU Shadows program and campus landscaping. To better preserve this legacy, raise awareness, and reduce the campus carbon footprint, MSU recently passed a comprehensive tree replacement policy.  Become a part of “Preserving the MSU Trees” by joining the Spartan Arbor Day Virtual 5k or taking a self-guided walk.  


ESSP Events: Spring Research Colloquium Marathon
March 31 and April 1, 1-3 pm

Day 1
Multicultural Space Design: The Impact of Campus Physical Environment on Multicultural Competencies of Students in Higher Education Institution  - presented by RabiaFaizan

Registration Link:

Day 2

Utilizing Education Strategies to Increase the Adoption of Sustainable Practices Among Rural Agriscience Student - presented by Craig Kohn

Registration Link:

Unpacking Racist Stereotypes
April 1, 3-4 pm
SDG 10

Demeaning racist stereotypes have a long history in American culture. We'll examine sources that unpack such stereotypes, including David Pilgrim's book Understanding Jim Crow, and illustrate each point with examples from MSU's Popular Culture collection.

Avoiding Money Mishaps for Youth
April 1, 4-5 pm

You are in control of your finance! Find out ways to avoid financial scams in just one hour by joining these upcoming webinars designed specifically for youth! You will learn:

  • Common financial pitfalls that people fall into and strategies to prevent them from occurring
  • Identify signs of common scams and fraud
  • Learn how to take preventative steps to protect from being victims of scams and fraud

RELAX: Alternatives to Anger
April 6-9, 12-1 pm

Alternatives to Anger is a four-part educational series designed to help adults, parents and caregivers increase their knowledge about anger issues and put anger management and healthy relationship skills into practice. Through presentations, group discussion and skill-building activities, participants learn what anger is, what triggers anger, calming down and de-stressing methods, the principles of problem solving, effective communication skills and forgiving and letting go of the past. 

Informed Renter
April 7, 9-10:30 am
SDG 11

Learn your rights and responsibilities as a tenant

MSU Muslim Studies Program 14th Annual Conference
April 8-9
SDG 10

Global Islamophobia and the News Media, Entertainment Media, and Social Media

Tollgate Farm HomeGrown Gardening Series 2021
April 10, 10-11 am
SDG 13

Are you interested in starting a vegetable garden for the first time or are you an experienced veggie gardener looking to explore new ideas? All levels of experience are welcome at this new series designed to encourage and support home vegetable gardeners! On April 10th, learn about growing vegetables in small spaces.

Baking Rock: Exploring Earth Science with Cake!
April 10, 1-1:35 pm
SDG 13

Experiment along in this virtual demonstration with MSU Museum’s Education Assistant Nick VanAcker.
Who knew the earth could be this delicious? In this program, families will work together to explore 3 earth science activities about meteorites, fossils, and the layers of the earth – using ingredients found in your kitchen! When combined, these activities create a yummy lava cake for your family to enjoy!

Student Loan Repayment Webinar
April 13, 3-4:30 pm

Increase your financial awareness by learning about student loans.  Topics included in the discussion will be: types of student loans, repayment option, working with student services, learning about student loan consolidation option and ways to avoid student loan default.

Leadership in Dealing with Difficult Multicultural Discussions
April 14, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
SDG 10

Many people are concerned about reports of bias-based language and behaviors targeting young people and adults based on differences such as race, national origin, immigration status, religion, gender, gender identity, disabilities/abilities, sexual orientation and other differences. Have you found yourself wanting to speak up to address hurtful language and behaviors, but you didn't know how to respond at work, at home or in the community? Participants will learn approaches to positive confrontation and the connections between personal healing, organizational and community change and social justice. The content of this workshop will deal specifically with issues related to race, gender, identity, sexual orientation and class.

The Future of Farming to Meet Sustainable Development Goals in Africa: Reflections on Soil Health and Policy
April 14, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
SDG 2, 5

Achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a global challenge, becoming acute in the face of climate change, natural resource degradation, and diseases affecting humans, animals and plants. Technologies and practices that promote sustainable intensification on smallholder farms vary spatially according to the diverse ways in which economic transformation and population dynamics are influencing the costs of land, farm labor, and cash inputs such as fertilizers and improved seeds. At this seminar we will reflect on how to achieve sustainable productivity gains through investments in soil health and knowledge. Reports have been commissioned on pioneering efforts in East and Southern Africa to engage and empower farmers and communities through approaches that specifically support disadvantaged youth and women. This event is part of the Alliance for African Partnership Public Dialogue Series.

MSU Tollgate Farm Stewards Virtual Winter Series 2021
April 15, 4-5 pm

MSU Tollgate Farm is offering a youth-led virtual winter series for past, present, and future stewards and stewards-in-training. This is a safe place to connect or reunite as a community and to explore resiliency and growth as youth leaders during this time. 

Gather: The Fight to Revitalize our Native Foodways
April 15, 7pm

Gather follows Nephi Craig, a chef from the White Mountain Apache Nation (Arizona), opening an indigenous café as a nutritional recovery clinic; Elsie Dubray, a young scientist from the Cheyenne River Sioux Nation (South Dakota), conducting landmark studies on bison; and the Ancestral Guard, a group of environmental activists from the Yurok Nation (Northern California), trying to save the Klamath river."

A visually stunning and inspiring documentary, we encourage you to share this announcement with friends, family, and your communities. 

Gardening Basics - Conditions
April 15, 6-8 pm

Join MSU Extension staff as we explore basic concepts in gardening and introduce you to beginner-friendly plants. Each class covers topics that will help understand your garden site and make informed choices on plants and plant care. We will share expertise and resources to help you start smart!

Edible Ice Cream Aquifers: What can you learn about groundwater? (MSU Science Fesitval)
April 17

Make your own edible ice cream aquifer and learn about the water underground. Find out how groundwater in the aquifer can become contaminated by watching what happens when you start adding juice, sprinkles, and soda to your ice cream aquifer. Supplies needed: ice cream, clear soda, juice or chocolate syrup, sprinkles, gummy bears, and crumbled cookies.

MSU Recreational Sports and Fitness Services Triatholon
April 17

Support your sustainable health and well-being by participating in at 15 minute swim, 15 minute cycle and 15 minute run during the MSU Recreational Sports and Fitness Services Triatholon. The Grand Prize is a new desk chair donated by NBS, or score a $50 Amazon giftcard for 2nd place or a $25 Buffalo Wild Wings giftcard for third place. There is no cost to compete, but participants must have a membership. No membership? No problem, just purchase a daily pass. Sign-up is available through

MSU Global Day of Service
April 17
SDG 11

The Global Day of Service is committed to demonstrating the amount of good that can be done in a single day, while connecting Spartans to a common cause around the world. Because the novel coronavirus puts limitations on Spartans' abilities to get out and serve, this year's day of service, encourages Spartans to rethink how they will advance the common good, with social distancing in mind. From sharing sidewalk chalk art, to writing thank you notes to health care workers, to supporting MSU students, MSU’s community impact will be felt around the world. Show the world what Spartans can do by participating in Global Day of Service.

W.E.B. DuBois Society Black Excellence Celebration
April 18, 12 pm
SDG 10

Join James Madison College for their 4th biennial Black Excellence Celebration! This year's theme pays tribute to the past (1920) and present (2020) intellectual and cultural revival of African American music, dance, art, fashion, literature, theater and politics. 

Principles of Resilience and Resilience Assessment Webinars
April 21 and May 5, 2 pm

Dr. Jenny Hodbod, Assistant Professor in the department of Community Sustainability at MSU is hosting a two part webinar series part of the Comprehensive Economic Recovery Initiative (CERI) Resiliency planning. During this webinar, Dr. Hodbod will introduce the theory of social-ecological resilience to set a common framework for thinking about resilience. This webinar will differentiate that social-ecological resilience is not equivalent to resiliency--a term referring to the ability of a system to “bounce back”. Instead, social-ecological resilience refers to a system’s capacity to respond to change and constantly develop. Specifically, Dr. Hodbod will demonstrate that resilience is determined by systems’ abilities, or inabilities, to cope, adapt, and transform. Finally, the webinar will introduce a “resilience of what, to what, for whom” frame that will aid in assessing resilience of systems. The second webinar, offered on May 5 at 2 pm, will introduce a toolbox approach to resilience assessment.

Knitting with Plastic Bags
April 22, 12-1 pm
SDG 12

Celebrate Earth Day by upcycling plastic bags! Knit with us in our maker meetup and show us what you made, what you are working on, or to learn more about knitting. This event is based on our Earth Day Take It and Make It kit which provides tools and instructions for how to knit with plastic grocery bags, however, you do not need a kit to participate. All are welcome, whether you are an experienced knitter or are just interested in exciting ways to recycle plastic bags.

Spartans Pick Up Day
April 22

Sustainable Spartans and Spartan Sierra Club are hosting another Spartans Pick Up Day, all day. Sign your team up, collect waste any time during the day, and send in a picture of what you collected. Top three teams with the most items collected will receive prizes. Remember to practice physical distancing and wear a mask.

MSU Tollgate Farm Virtual Sustainable Steward Series: Water World
April 23, 4 - 5 pm

Friends of the Rouge (FOTR) seek to restore, protect, and enhance the Rouge River Watershed through individual and community actions to assure that its natural, economic, and recreational value enhances the quality of life in the ecosystem. Along with other teen leaders and Friends of the Rouge staff and volunteers, explore issues facing this local watershed and the work of FOTR during this panel discussion.

Tollgate Farm 4-H Virtual Interactive Follow the Nutrient Trail
April 26-30, 3:30-4:45 pm

How do plants and animals depend on other living things to help them survive? Let's follow the nutrient trail of consumers, producers, and decomposers as we meet our goats, chickens, and red wiggler friends, the worms! Visiting the garden, greenhouse, orchard, and animal barn, students will investigate how plants depend on animals and insects for their survival and how the energy of the sun and nutrients travel through the nutrient cycle. Students will interact with Tollgate Farm staff as they question, hypothesize, experiment, analyze data, conclude and question again through hands-on STEAM challenges. Designed for learners in grades 3-5.

Student FEWSUS Symposium
April 27, 8:30-10:30am (EDT)
SDG 2, 6, 7, 11, 12

In conjunction with the University of Tennessee’s National Science Foundation-funded FEWSUS program and Global Challenges University Alliance 2030 (GCUA2030), undergraduate and graduate students are invited to participate in the upcoming symposium detailed below. Food-Energy-Water for Sustainable Urban Systems (FEWSUS) is a network of networks program designed to link collaborators around the world working towards the grand challenges that surround the FEW nexus and our urban systems. As part of FEWSUS, the network is linking student researchers from around the world.

This event will showcase undergraduate and graduate student research across the world towards addressing sustainable urban systems through cutting-edge research in the food-energy-water nexus. This symposium will cover multiple United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, including SDGs 2, 6, 7, 11, and 12. 

What the Eyes Don't See: A Conversation with Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha
April 29, 6:00 - 7:00 pm

Join The MSU Alumni Office Spartan Book Club for a virtual conversation with Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, physician, activist and author of the Great Michigan Read, “What the Eyes Don’t See.” Dr. Aron Sousa, interim dean, College of Human Medicine, will lead a conversation with Dr. Mona, associate professor, College of Human Medicine. You’ll hear the story of how Dr. Mona stood up to government officials who dismissed the Flint water crisis. The conversation will conclude with an opportunity for viewers to ask questions.