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Weekend Recs: Earth Day

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Annie, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

Tomorrow, Apr. 22, is Earth Day, a day for celebrating our planet, raising awareness about climate change and climate injustice, and taking concrete actions to create a more healthy environment, whether it’s picking up trash, planting a tree, or taking political action for environmental justice. As climate change has gained a more significant place on our societal agenda, the Earth Day conversation has changed from learning the three Rs (reduce, reuse, and recycle, in that order) to discussing divestment from fossil fuels (including on Villanova’s campus) and sustainable practices.

In celebration of Earth Day, this weekend’s recs share some educational and interesting environmental content to help you get in the Earth Day spirit.

If you have 2 minutes and 26 seconds…and don’t know the history of Earth Day and how it came to be, watch this video from The History Channel.

Bonus: if you want a comedic recap of the history of the actual earth, watch the Internet classic “history of the entire world, i guess” by bill wurtz.

If you have 10 minutes and 11 seconds…and don’t know how climate change disproportionately affects working class communities and people of color, watch this video. This is why “climate justice” is important, as it’s not just about the environment.

If you have 15 minutes…and want to learn how you can be more environmentally friendly at college, check out this article. Sometimes, it feels impossible to live environmentally friendly on a college campus, as you’re not in full control of your food, housing, and more, but these tips might help you make a small difference.

If you have 27 minutes and 42 seconds…and are inspired by Greta Thunberg and her climate activism, watch this interview where she discusses her book and her thoughts on the climate change conversation (and has some fun with Russell Howard).

If you have 1 hour and 26 minutes…and want to watch something for Earth Day that won’t stress you out too much, watch The Lorax, available in Falvey’s DVD Collection. Although it’s catchy songs and colorful animation might distract you, this dystopian climate fiction (cli-fi) film follows a boy living in an environmentally desiccated city as he tries to find and plant a real, living tree. Plus, it features Zac Efron, Danny DeVito, Taylor Swift, Ed Helms, Betty White, and Jenny Slate as voice actors.

If you have 1 hour and 32 minutes…and like solution-oriented documentaries, watch 2040, available online through Falvey. This documentary follows a filmmaker around the world as he searches for innovative ways to combat climate change.

If you have 4 hours…and have a free Saturday, take part in Villanova’s Earth Day of Service from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Mendel Lot. If you’re interested in participating in some hands-on work to help better the Villanova environment, register here.

Bonus: for more Villanova-centered ways to celebrate Earth Day, check out these Villanova Earth Week activities and events

If you have 6 hours…and want to learn more about suburban wildlife, read Marzluff’s Welcome to Subirdia, available online through Falvey. We’re used to hearing how our suburban sprawl is horrible for the environment, and while it does have very real environmental consequences, this book discusses how some animals are actually adapting to and even thriving in suburban environments. It also gives some practical tips for making suburban neighborhoods more hospitable.

If you have 7 hours…and haven’t read this environmental studies classic, read Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, available at Falvey. This book famously called attention to the dangers of pesticides and sparked the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Library.


TBT: Earth Week Farmers Market


Villanova’s community is celebrating sustainability with Earth Week, renewing our commitment to our shared environment. For this throwback, enjoy a memory from the Farmers Market in April 2021, when this honey-themed seller graced the pathway just outside of the Library.








Peek at the Week: April 17


In The Lorax, Dr. Seuss wrote, “Unless someone like you cares an awful lot, things aren’t going to get better. They’re not.”

Happy Monday, Wildcats! With Earth Day approaching this week, I want to leave you with some words of wisdom. Although it may seem futile, as climate change unarguably is too big for one person to combat, your actions matter, and your actions can make a difference. Don’t let the futility stop you from caring.

This goes beyond climate change and environmental justice. If you care about something, if you want to see a change in the word, keep caring and let that caring shine through your actions.


Monday, April 17

Mindfulness Monday | 1-1:30 p.m. | Virtual | Free & Open to Villanova Students, Faculty, and Staff

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free

The Senghor-Damas-Césaire Lecture for Africana Studies featuring Kris Manjapra, PhD | 5-6 p.m. | Speakers’ Corner | Free & Open to the Public

Tuesday, April 18

Publish Your Research in Veritas, Villanova’s First Peer-Reviewed Undergraduate Journal | 4-5 p.m. | The Center for Research and Fellowships, Garey Hall (Top Floor) | Open to Villanova Students |

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free

2023 Literary Festival Event: Steph Cha | 7 p.m. | Speakers’ Corner | Livestream Available Here | Free & Open to the Public

Wednesday, April 19

Bridging Cultures: A Celebration of Arab and Palestinian Music | 4 p.m. | Connelly Center Cinema | Free & Open to the Public

Writers and Editors, Ethics, and Craft: A Conversation with the 2023 Irish Studies Heimbold Chair Mary O’Donoghue and Irish writer Lisa McInerney | 4 p.m. | Speakers’ Corner | Free & Open to the Villanova Community | Light Refreshments Served

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free

Alfred F. Mannella and Rose T. Lauria-Mannella Endowed Distinguished Speaker Series Lecture featuring Peter Spina on “The Italian Heritage of American Popular Music” | 7 p.m. | Speakers’ Corner | Free & Open to the Public

Thursday, April 20

Poetic License Exhibit Launch and Open Mic Celebration | 4 p.m. | Speakers’ Corner | Free & Open to the Public | Light Refreshments Served

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free

Friday, April 21

Villanova Gaming Society Meeting | 2:30-4:30 p.m. | Speakers’ Corner | Free & Open to the Public

Sunday, April 23

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 3-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free


In celebration of National Poetry Month, today, Apr. 17, is International Haiku Poetry Day. A Japanese form of poetry, Haiku poems are 3 lines with a 5-7-5 syllable pattern. If you’re feeling creative, try out some haiku poetry yourself. For some inspiration, check out Falvey’s haiku resources here.

As some of you may already know, tomorrow, Apr. 18, is Tax Day, but did you know that it is also National Exercise Day? So, to work off some of the stress of doing your taxes with some healthy movement (and bonus points if you take your workout outside).

Saturday, Apr. 22, is Earth Day, a day for celebrating our planet and helping to protect it. So, today, whether you sign some petitions, call your representatives, plant a tree, or pick up litter, try to do something for the environment.

Want to get outside and enjoy the weather this weekend? Sunday, Apr. 23, is National Picnic Day. Whether your perfect picnic is accompanied by a group of friends, your family, or a good book, today is the perfect excuse to get outside and soak up some vitamin D (with sunscreen, of course).

If you’re more of an indoor, air conditioning person, Sunday is also Movie Theater Day. If you’re feeling cinematic, swing by your local movie theater and relax with a movie.

Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Library.


Dig Deeper: Earth Day Video Offering

 Image courtesy of NASA Earth Observations. Image is of four world globes overlapping.

Image courtesy of NASA Earth Observations.

A brief sampling of Falvey Library online video related to Earth Day and our rapidly changing planet:

For Falvey Library video subscribed content visit an introduction to Streaming Video at Falvey or try one of the selected library subject headings below:

For more video dig further in:

""Merrill Stein is Political Science Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.





Dig Deeper: Women, Climate Change, Law and Data

By Merrill Stein 

As we approach the end of March, Women’s History Month and look towards Earth Day in April, consider listening to this recent podcast from the OECD, Women, climate change and data: Why we need to better understand the environment-gender nexus.

Take a moment to consider these research guides and YouTube videos from the Library of Congress, Smithsonian and U.S. National Archives.

Examine the Woman in the Law (Peggy) resource in the HeinOnline database, a  subscription courtesy of the Charles Widger School of Law Library. The “Peggy” collection features more than one million pages of contemporary and historical works related to women’s roles in society and the law.

Give thought to any possible gender gaps in common resources to which we interact with frequently, as indicated by this recent study from the University of Pennsylvania. Read about women in the digital world in the special issue of Information, Communication & Society, Volume 24, Issue 14 (2021).


Dig Deeper resources:

""Merrill Stein is Political Science Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.

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Stay Informed on Sustainability with JSTOR’s Sustainability Database

Do you have an interest in sustainability research? If so, be sure to check out JSTOR Sustainability, one of Falvey’s resources. This database provides a wide range of scholarly journals, ebooks, and research reports in effort to help you stay informed on topics related to sustainability. Having celebrated the landmark 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, there is no better time to dig into this dynamic resource!

Within this database, users have the option to search for content on a broad range of topics related to sustainability. Some featured topics include:

• Agricultural productivity
• Agroforestry
• Carbon footprint
• Climate change policy
• Conservation biology
• Emissions trading
• Energy policy
• Environmental education
• Environmental engineering
• Environmental history
• Environmental law
• Food security
• Green buildings
• Human ecology
• Industrial ecology
• Land use planning
• Natural resources
• Nature conservation
• Population geography
• Renewable energy
• Resource economics
• Sustainable cities
• Sustainable urban infrastructure
• Transportation planning
• Urban development
• Waste management
• Water quality
• Wetland conservation

There are many other topics you can delve deeper into as well, depending on your interest or research needs.

Matters of sustainability impact all people, so the JSTOR Sustainability database could potentially be of use to not only scholars in environmental science/studies, sustainable engineering, global health and peace and justice fields, but really to anyone who has a general interest in climate studies or wants to learn more about living a sustainable life. In fact, Villanova University has expressed a pledge to sustainability efforts through its Climate Commitment, so the information found within this database is of great significance to all Villanovans—past, present, and future.

If you need help using this or any other library resource, you can Live Chat or email a reference librarian at

Be sure to check out JSTOR Sustainability to stay informed on the latest and greatest information in sustainability research.

headshot picture of regina duffy

Regina Duffy is a Communication and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Memorial Library.




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TBT: 2019 Climate Strikes

close-up of a poster from the 2019 Climate Strike demonstrations at Villanova

students during the 2019 Climate Strike demonstration at Villanova

Here comes a BONUS TBT in honor of Earth Day! The photos featured here come from the March 15, 2019 Climate Strike at Villanova. This was just one of many climate strikes taking place on college campuses across the country. These strikes were inspired by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish  student who challenged world leaders to take immediate action against climate change and emphasized that no one is too small or too young to make a difference. Thunberg has had three consecutive nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize from 2019-2021. 

Student speakers Gracie Stagliano and Yvonne Nguyen led the demonstrations and the group march to the office of University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, to present him with two demands:

  1. Move the University’s carbon-neutral pledge date up to 2030
  2. Enter into a power purchase agreement for renewable energy by 2020

More information on the 2019 Climate Strikes at Villanova can be found in Falvey’s mini-exhibit entitled Earth Week at Villanova.

jenna newman headshotJenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.







Cat in the Stax: National Parks Week

Not only is next week Earth Week, but it’s also National Parks Week, so get ready for a list of ways you can celebrate both the earth and our parks, whether it’s through picking up a new book to read or finding time to get outside and enjoy nature.

Activities to Celebrate 

Villanova is lucky enough to be situated only 15 minutes from one of Pennsylvania’s national parks—Valley Forge National Park. This week or weekend get together a group of your close friends, find someone with a car and make the drive over to Valley Forge to walk around and enjoy nature. Not only is this a great way to celebrate National Parks, but it also lets you get outside, clear your head and refocus for all of the end of semester studying and papers that lie ahead. 

Villanova has a wide variety of Earth Week events going on, some of them starting as early as this week, and all of them are worth attending; however, I wanted to highlight another event that gets you outside and looking at nature, even if it’s not at a National Park. Next Thursday, April 22, Villanova’s horticulturist, Hugh Weldon will be leading a tour of the trees around campus. More details and registration can be found here.

Books to Read 

The Falvey collection has a wide range of National Parks Travel Guides that you can reserve and pick up. The collection has guides for everything you need to know for parks from Shenandoah National Park to Glacier National Park. With only a month left of the semester, now is the perfect time to grab some guide books and start planning a summer road trip to a National Park near or far!

Fun Fact: Did you know each day of National Parks Week has its own theme?

The National Park Service website has a list with themes for each day of National Park week as well as other ideas for you to celebrate. Below are the themes for each day.

April 17 – Park Rx Day

April 18 – VIP (Volunteers In Parks) Sunday

April 19 – Military Monday

April 20 – Transformation Tuesday

April 21 – Wayback Wednesday

April 22 – Earth Day

April 23 – Friendship Friday

April 24 – Junior Ranger Day

April 25 – BARK Ranger Day

Let us know how you plan on celebrating both Earth Week and National Parks Week next week!

jenna newman headshotJenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.





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From the Archives: 50th Anniversary of Earth Day

In celebration of the 50th anniversary, Distinctive Collections is excited to announce a mini digital exhibit, “Earth Week at Villanova,” describing how Villanova University participated in the first Earth Day and other activities on campus to advocate for environmental changes over the years. Villanova University hosted a week of activities during the first Earth Week celebrations that were held in 1970.

"Give a Hoot, Don't Pollute" Owl Cartoon

“Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute” Owl Cartoon 1971

Villanovan, Vol. 47, No. 12, December 8, 1971.

Of particular note, the exhibit includes a recorded interview with the organizers of the March 2019 Climate Strike on campus. All the material presented are from the University Archives and curated by Beaudry Allen, Preservation and Digital Archivist.


Remote Discoveries: Sustainability and Earth Month 2020

Next week, Villanova is hosting a virtual Teach-In to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. This celebration falls within a larger Earth Month event, encouraging people to challenge themselves to live more sustainably. The webpage for the event can be found here, including subpages with specific information on how you can reduce your carbon footprint with small lifestyle changes.

With information broken down into Energy, Waste, Water, and Food concerns, the weekly sustainability challenges could offer a good way to become more mindful of your environmental impact.


Nate's South Philly Backyard

Personally, I will try one of the challenges to line dry my clothes instead of using the dryer. I think that spring’s arrival is the perfect time to try it out.

However, there are many great suggestions provided: reusing old clothing to make tote bags and bathmats, making hand sanitizer with few at-hand ingredients, and opting for biodegradable packaging when possible.

I have certainly become more conscious of my ecological footprint at these times, taking more time out to compost food waste and saving those horrifically bruised and soft vegetables for soup stocks.

I am spending more time in my backyard, preparing numerous buckets to plant herbs and vegetables in, as well as maintaining a compost bucket for personal use in addition to my weekly compost pickup bucket. Although these changes are small, I hope that I can continue them to be a more environmentally conscious person in the future.

Yet, it is important to recognize that these lifestyle changes must extend beyond the lock downs and shelter-in-place orders. In addition, many of the fault for carbon emissions are out of our own hands and backyards, requiring large-scale systemic change spearheaded by responsible governance.


I am sure many of us have seen the photos and videos circulating online that show skylines absent of smog, and oft-discrete wildlife venturing into areas normally dominated by people. However, it is important to recognize that the current emission reductions brought on by Covid-19 lockdowns are not long-term changes. A recent article from the International Energy Agency (linked here) clearly express these concerns.

“We may well see CO2 emissions fall this year as a result of the impact of the coronavirus on economic activity, particularly transport. But it is very important to understand that this would not be the result of governments and companies adopting new policies and strategies. It would most likely be a short-term blip that could well be followed by a rebound in emissions growth as economic activity ramps back up.

Real, sustained reductions in emissions will happen only if governments and companies fulfill the commitments that they have already announced–or that they will hopefully announce very soon.”

–Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director International Energy Agency

Nate GosweilerNate Gosweiler is a graduate assistant for Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication department. This week, he is slogging through some more of Thomas Pynchon’s Against the Day.

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Last Modified: April 16, 2020

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