Sustainability Week 2015, a partnership between Virginia Tech, the Town of Blacksburg, and Sustainable Blacksburg that highlights sustainability efforts in the town and on campus, starts today.

More than a dozen events to “celebrate, educate, and motivate” are scheduled throughout the week (Sept. 14-18) to showcase many of the sustainable efforts that are happening on campus and in the community. This is the ninth year of the program.

This year's Sustainability Week begins today with the launch of the "Caught Green Handed" campaign. A group of volunteers will be out in the community catching people in the act of making more sustainable everyday choices such as biking to work or school, using a reusable coffee mug, or recycling.

On Tuesday, Sept. 15, events include a showing of “New Farms, Big Success,” at the YMCA, 1000 North Main Street. The film features three farmers and provides critical information to develop an enduring, local food network in a time of climate change.

The annual Active Commute Celebration from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 16, will highlight information about Blacksburg Transit, the Virginia Tech Office of Energy and Sustainability, the Blacksburg Office of Sustainability, Healthy Hokies, Virginia Tech Bicycle Ambassadors, Zipcar, and the Virginia Tech Environmental Coalition. There will be activities, giveaways (including bike bells and stickers), a Zipcar, and free food from Panera Bread.

Later that afternoon, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. the Virginia Master Naturalists, VT Engage, and the Virginia Tech and Blacksburg sustainability teams will join forces to remove invasive plant species from the Stadium Woods forest.

On Thursday, Sept. 17, Virginia Tech students, employees, and community members are invited to come out and help plant six native Oak trees along West Campus Drive, near Harper Hall. The planting will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tools and work gloves will be provided. Participants should bring a water bottle and wear closed toe shoes.

Since becoming one of the first universities in the country to be recognized as an Arbor Day Foundation Tree Campus USA, Virginia Tech has held tree plantings twice annually, each fall and spring. To date, students and employees have planted nearly 600 trees on campus.

Events will continue all week and are most are free. The full schedule is available on the Sustainability Week website.

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