The 40th Annual Earth Day Celebration kicks off Thursday, April 22 and members of the Colleges along with individuals around the world will celebrate the event. The HWS community will join groups throughout the country to call on individuals to make personal commitments to sustainability by supporting climate policy, energy efficiency, renewable energy and “Green” jobs.
Jamie Landi, sustainability coordinator for the Colleges, notes the significance of the annual celebration. “Earth Day is an important opportunity to celebrate the Earth and the progress we’ve made in reducing our impact on the environment in the past 40 years. The day presents a moment for us to renew our energy and recognize the continued attention that our eco-systems – local, regional and global require.”
Earth Day festivities at HWS will include Green Games and an E-Waste Collection. Green Games will take place during lunch on the front patio of the Scandling Center. The E-Waste Collection will occur on Thursday, April 22 and Tuesday, April 27 from 3 – 6 p.m. at the College Store and Odell’s parking lots. Items accepted at the E-Waste Collection include: computers, printers, televisions, batteries, cell phones, microwaves, audio equipment, telephone equipment, cables, wires and any item with a circuit board.
“Earth Day is a day devoted to appreciating our environment,” says Stacey Rice ’11, the co-organizer of Earth Week 2010 at HWS. “Some people, including myself, do this every day. However, for people who may not have this constant awareness of their impact, Earth Day will hopefully make them think about it.”
The Earth Day celebration is one component of a week filled with campus events called “What’s Your Carbon Footprint?” The effort encourages students to think about their carbon footprint and strives to make people more aware of their personal impact on the environment. Other events this week include Service Through Science: Honeoye Lake Roadside Cleanup on Saturday, April 24. Individuals will depart from the Finger Lakes Institute at 9 a.m. and transportation is provided. The Sustainable Picnic will take place on Sunday, April 25 at 12 p.m. on the Quad and will include food from local businesses, a performance by Revision, a band from Ithaca; solar cookie baking and tie dye.
The first Earth Day was held in 1970, after Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin proposed a nationwide environmental protest to force the issue of environmental conservation onto the national agenda. More than 20 million people demonstrated across the U.S. in different cities. As a result of the first Earth Day, President Richard Nixon and Congress created the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency to repair the damage already done to the environment and establish guidelines to assist Americans in producing a cleaner environment. In addition, it was responsible for the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.