ENVigorate celebrates 10 years of building community


The ENVigorate Environment Festival, an annual festival hosted by the faculty of environment, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year. The three-day event, held from March 19 to March 21, features three days of workshops, student showcases, a fashion show, and more.

The theme for ENVigorate 2024 is Eco-Equity: Bridging gaps for a sustainable world. 

The festival aims to incorporate the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into each of its events. Workshops, hosted by on- and off-campus partners, look to uplift equality and justice within sustainability. 

“ENVigorate is incredibly special to me, and I first got involved two years ago when I hosted UW’s first Thrift Fashion Show during the festival,.” says Ridham Chadha, a fourth- year ENBUS student and this year’s festival co-chair. “I am personally deeply passionate about textile innovation and sustainable fashion, so that was a wonderful way to share my interests with likeminded people of the environment family.” 

The first ENVigorate Festival took place in 2014. A decade later, the festival has evolved and developed along with the global climate situation. 

“This 10th anniversary theme is very special, because now more than ever, the conversation around equity, inclusion and climate justice is incredibly important as it will decide what the future holds for us,” Chadha said. “We believe that no work in environmental science and sustainability will be worthwhile if every group in the community is not involved in this discussion and problem-solving stage.” 

ENVigorate provides an opportunity to create a sense of belonging for students every year, and the festival provides first years with “hope and guidance from upper year students and faculty,” Chadha shared. 

“At its core, the ENVigorate Festival is a celebration of the Faculty of Environment’s community, which to me, means having the opportunity to connect with each other through sustainability,” stated Liya Murray, last year’s festival co-chair and graduate of the UW environment faculty. “The variety of events each year helps demonstrate the wide range of research directions within the faculty of environment, and shows us all the different ways that sustainability fits into our lives, while encouraging us to learn from each other and explore new knowledge forms and perspectives.”

Knowledge sharing happens in many forms at ENVigorate. The academic panel, scheduled for March 19 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., will bring students and faculty together for a discussion on the festival theme. The Student Showcase, taking place after that from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., provides the opportunity for undergrad and grad students to share research projects. Each workshop also offers a unique opportunity to learn a new craft or skill such as spoon carving, tree printing, salsa dancing, and wax candle making. 

There are several new and returning workshops connected to the theme of eco-equity that the ENVigorate team are excited to offer, including: 

  1. Climate Justice Panel on how to address equity issues in all forms of work 
  2. Thrift Fashion Show — promoting thrifting and secondhand clothing, discouraging behaviors that support fast fashion  
  3. The Women Centre’s workshop on how to make your own sustainable menstrual pads  
  4. CEE Creative Lab on how to make SDGs a part of your co-op experience and promote sustainability in workplace 
  5. Illuminate: A game simulation where students solve environmental complex problems in urban and rural settings 
  6. Mushroom Science: Learn how mycelium and mushrooms can change the world 
  7. Climate Justice Mystery: A three-day hunt where students will solve clues and collect hints for a prize at the end of the festival. All clues will be equity and sustainability themed.  
  8. The Equity Mural: We will be building a word cloud mural with all the prompts that the participants will provide us on the first day, and this will be permanently staged in one of the environment buildings

The small-business marketplace is a new addition to the festival line-up this year,  where students will share what they are working on related to building business solutions that address environmental and social problems. 

“We have worked very hard, and with a lot of passion, to make the 10th year the most special, educational, and fun for the students. Along with learning new skills, our goal is to inspire the environment community to keep doing the amazing work they are doing along with encouraging others to follow that path,” Chadha said. 

To stay updated with all things ENVigorate follow their Instagram @envigorate.uw, watch for the link to register for workshops and join in the celebration.