University of the Fraser Valley

March for Sustainability returns with events for everyone

March for Sustainability returns with events for everyone

Sustainability Open-Mic Night/Queeraoke was a popular event last year, and returns for 2024, taking place on Thursday, March 28.

March for Sustainability returns in 2024 with more events than ever before. A series of collaborative events, March for Sustainability is co-hosted by various UFV departments and groups throughout the month of March. Events address sustainability topics such as climate change, biodiversity, EDI, and gender diversity.

“There’s something for everyone across the Abbotsford and Chilliwack campuses,” says Jennifer Martel, UFV sustainability manager in the Office of Sustainability. “Most events are open to everyone – students, staff, faculty, admin, and the wider community. You can get involved in sustainability no matter what your background or career.”

The initiative debuted in 2022 with five events and returned last year with 13. This year there are 20 events that encourage actions, expand networks, share knowledge, and inspire hope for a more sustainable world. March for Sustainability is intended to foster awareness and understanding to create a thriving, harmonious and just future for all.

Left to right: Olivia Jackson, Cameron James, and Jennifer Martel celebrating Early Earth Day as part of 2023 March for Sustainability. This year’s Early Earth Day event is Mar 14.

“It’s much more than showing films, attending lectures, and picking up garbage,” says Stefania Pizzirani, an associate professor in UFV’s Planning, Geography, and Environmental Studies department. “It’s also about the wider sustainability movement – environmental, social, cultural – and creating opportunities to learn, get connected, and get involved.”

This year offers a mix of returning and new events, and you can learn all about them on the March for Sustainability webpage at

The month will kick off with a new event titled ‘Inspiring Inclusion: Local and Global’ which is centered around this year’s International Women’s Day theme. Students from GDS 100 (A World of Development) and GDS 260 (Gender and Global Development) will present their work on gender equity issues and facilitate hands-on activities for participants.

Among the familiar events, UFV will celebrate Early Earth Day on Thursday, March 14. Officially, Earth Day falls on April 22, but Martel says that’s right in the middle of exam season and most students and faculty have their minds on academics. So, they take time to celebrate the planet as part of March for Sustainability.

“Early Earth Day has several booths hosting passionate people from UFV and our local communities who focus on the environment and sustainability,” Pizzirani explains. “People can talk to them and learn from them. It’s meant to be a very hands-on event, with lots of interactive activities.”

There will be three movie screenings. Seed – The Untold Story shows at the UFV Chilliwack library on Wednesday, March 13. The film follows passionate seed-keepers protecting our 12,000-year-old food legacy. These farmers, scientists, lawyers, and Indigenous peoples are fighting a David-versus-Goliath battle to defend the future of our food.

Above and Below Ground shows Friday, March 15, on the UFV Abbotsford campus, telling the story of Indigenous women activists and punk rock pastors in war-torn Myanmar who are using protest, prayer, and Karaoke music videos to protect their community and environment from the military and greedy multi-national corporations.

There’s Something in the Water shows Tuesday, March 19, on the UFV Abbotsford campus. Directed by and featuring Canadian actor Elliot Page, the documentary examines environmental racism. Page tours economically disadvantaged areas of rural Nova Scotia for a first-hand look at the impacts of industrial development.

Each showing in Abbotsford will be followed by a discussion led by a UFV professor.

The final week of March for Sustainability includes two returning events: Clothes the Loop – Renew, Reuse and Restyle, and the Sustainability Open-Mic Night.

Returning for its third year, Clothes the Loop is focused around making more sustainable choices when it comes to what we wear. This event teaches basic stitching and repair skills, so bring something you need mended. Participants are also invited to bring clothes to take part in the everyday clothing exchange. The ‘Career Closet’ offers the opportunity for students to access free professional clothing.

“UFV’s Centre for Experiential and Career Education (CECE) identified a common issue where students don’t have clothing suitable for job interviews,” Martel says. “Last year we started collecting donations of professional attire, and students were able to access free shoes, tops, pants – whatever they prefer to feel confident for interview season.”

Sustainability Open-Mic Night/Queeraoke takes place on Thursday, March 28.

“It’s about offering people a creative outlet for anyone wanting to express their hopes, feelings, or fears about the state of the planet, both environmental and social,” says Martel. “We had quite a few singers last year, and slam poetry.”

Please note that some events have limited capacity and require sign-up ahead of time. Click here for the full calendar of events.