“It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.” — David Attenborough
April 22nd of each year marks the anniversary of an environmental movement that promotes awareness regarding pollution and respect for ecology as a whole. Earth Day was founded in 1970 by Gaylord Nelson who was a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin.
His idea of environmental appreciation began with the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. From that, he decided that it was his duty to ensure that people become more conscious of air and water pollution.
The first Earth Day celebration taking place in 1970 involved at least 20 million Americans demonstrated environmental sustainability through large rallies. Many groups fought against the idea of air polluting factories, unnecessary oil spills and power plants.
Earth Day received support in 1970 from Republicans and Democrats, and led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Earth Day received even more recognition as 1990 approached, and the organization promoted the idea of recycling worldwide.
Today, Earth Day focuses mainly on global warming and saving energy, and the holiday is celebrated annually by more than a billion people. This day of action brings many people together, including the staff and students of our campus.
UNCGreen and the Campus Activities board provided education regarding current environmental issues at the 2016 Earth Day Celebration on College Ave.
The event consisted of methods to save electricity and making a habit of recycling. Five energy-saving solutions promoted at the celebration were: setting your computer to sleep after ten minutes of inactivity, turning your computer completely off at the end of the day, turning the lights off when you leave a room and unplugging chargers when the device is finished charging and unplugging small electronic devices (copier, coffee maker, TV) if they are no longer being used.
It was also announced to students that aluminum cans and plastic bottles are no longer allowed in the trash according to North Carolina State Law G.S 130A-309.10(f). The event also provided free snacks and refreshments, games, giveaways, as well as live music.
One of the games featured were cornhole, where bean bags were tossed and basketballs were shot into recycling baskets. There were also two tables where students were turning large T-shirts into UNCG tote bags, through ripping, cutting, designing and painting them by hand.
Raffle prizes included 2/$125 vouches for bikes, $50 gift card to Lucky32 and GreenValley Grill and Tate Street coffee thermoses. Many other campus organizations were there to assist students in finding out more information pertaining to sustainability projects and how to join the sustainability group.
Just last year, UNCG was named one of the most environmentally responsible colleges by The Princeton Review’s Green Guide. Earth day is celebrated in more than 192 countries each year and allows for everyone to come together with appreciation of the natural environment.