Here’s how universities are celebrating Earth Day 2019
Here’s how colleges are going green this Earth Day. Source: Shutterstock

Almost 50 years ago today, Earth Day was celebrated for the first time on April 22, 1970.

Today, it’s become a global affair that’s observed by millions across the globe. But more than a gimmick, Earth Day aims to help raise awareness about environmental issues and protection.

The idea was incepted after an oil spill in Santa Barbara, California in 1969. Former US Senator Gaylord Nelson wanted to raise awareness on air and water pollution and so created Earth Day, which eventually led to the creation of the US Environmental protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air Act and passage of the Endangered Species Act, among others.

This shows the domino effect of raising awareness and how it can (and did) lead to positive changes for mankind’s future and that of the environment.

Earth Day Network, which leads Earth Day worldwide, has chosen “Protect our Species” as 2019’s theme. 

So, just how involved are students and the faculty in Earth Day? We take a look at what are some of the cool things universities are up to that might spur you to do something useful as well.

Australian National University (ANU), Australia

Students and staff at ANU are getting their hands dirty – literally – by planting trees to make their campus greener. While the event isn’t held on Earth Day itself (May 1), the event still serves to commemorate Earth Day. Volunteers will be planting small plants in the area and this will be followed by a vegetarian/vegan barbeque.

It looks like they’re walking the talk as meat consumption is said to be bad for the environment.  

Bellevue College (BC), US

BC stands out from other universities, as their Earth Day has become Earth Week and features a range of events based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Their week-long affair will feature nifty activities, including one where students can donate their old electronic items to be recycled safely, get their bikes fixed for free, as well as a practical workshop where students can learn how to keep things out of the landfill, among others.

Hofstra University, US

Hofstra University will celebrate Earth Day on April 24 with an outdoor festival and a discussion focusing on how to make local changes that can help create a more sustainable planet. Their Deliberative Dialogues are hosted to find solutions and compromises for challenging ideas in a civil way, including how to make the campus more sustainable as well as how long it will take to achieve the proposed goals.

University of Waterloo, Canada

Not unlike ANU, the University of Waterloo is also commemorating Earth Day, but on a different day. The university will be hosting ‘Earth Day: 20 Minute Makeover’ on April 24 with a campus clean up, where participants will tackle litter ‘hot spots’, rain or shine.

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