On April 22, 1970, thousands of colleges and communities across America took part in Earth Day for the first time. Fast forward to 2015, and people around the world still use the day to focus on environmental concerns. One doesn’t have to go on a global expedition, however, to find people participating in the environmental movement. In Worcester, many college students will roll up their sleeves and engage in activities aimed at improving the welfare of our planet.
Whether you are already a hardcore environmentalist or are just vaguely aware of how your actions can affect the planet, there is likely to be an event up your alley. Here is a brief overview of what some local colleges and universities will be doing in honor of Earth Day.
The Sustainability Club at Assumption College will highlight the 45th anniversary of Earth Day by urging students to give a second thought to what they might be throwing away and how they are disposing of it (think batteries, paint, household chemicals, etc.). The club’s members want to remind people that trash is not merely goods tossed by the wayside but also includes uneaten food. Tons of garbage create a tremendous environmental problem, as well. To encourage better awareness of food waste and its disposal, the organization will sponsor a “Weigh Your Waste” event in the school’s dining hall.
The word has been out for some time about the possible danger of global warming. Becker College will focus on the warming trend this Earth Day, and the Campus Activities Board will sponsor an event aimed at improving education on climate change.
At least two schools in Worcester have decided there is such a tremendous amount to be done to promote awareness of global issues that one single day of activities is not enough. Both the College of the Holy Cross and Clark University dedicate an entire week to raise awareness surrounding sustainability.
The College of the Holy Cross’ Purple Goes Green Week will focus on several environmental aspects, particularly recycling and reducing the school’s footprint. To do so, there will be an array of activities for students. Tours of the boiler room will be conducted, so students can see just how much power is required to run the campus. There will also be a demonstration designed to bring to light just how many items are needlessly discarded daily. Additionally, students will be able to purchase reusable cups as part of the college’s Crusader Cup campaign. Students interested in hearing the latest perspectives on the environment will have the opportunity to attend a panel discussion: Where Are We Regarding Sustainability?
During Clark University’s Earth Week, held at the end of March, 20 student groups displayed their commitment to creating a sustainable future. For example, Climate Change Teach-In Day included a united front of faculty and staff leading workshops, and there were panels and speakers focusing on climate change. Also, students had the opportunity to really dig in and show their athletic prowess by taking part in the Campus Conservation Nationals and Zero Waste Challenge. There were also bike tours throughout the city, guided walks of the Hadwen Arboretum, and a bus trip to a composting facility and solar farm. Some students opted to kick back and relax as they learned about the environment through watching movies during the Wild and Scenic Film Festival in collaboration with the Greater Worcester Land Trust. Movies included Cowspiracy (in collaboration with Activists United) and Growing Cities (in collaboration with Net Impact).
There will plenty going on in Worcester on Earth Day; get out and check it out!
For more information, check your college’s website for Earth Day activities.
By Maxine Giza