Happy Earth Month!
Pedro and Caitlin here, while everyone is getting ready to wrap up the semester, at Live Green! we are invested in all the activities to come with Earth Month. Iowa State University has been celebrating Earth Day since 1970. While new events have joined campus, such as Sustainapalooza or Campus Sustainability Month, Earth Day has remained popular and annually celebrated at Iowa State University, and universities across the world. Recently, at ISU, Earth Day has been expanded to include month-long engagement opportunities. Which resonates well with our celebration theme this year, Earth Day Every Day.
Earth Day became an official national holiday when U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson hosted an Earth Day celebration on April 22, 1970. This beginning has led to many environmental initiatives nation-wide, as well as annual celebrations every April. In fact, many colleges and universities launched initiatives in support of the first Earth Day, that have grown into diverse and multi-faceted campus sustainability programs and initiatives. For example, Iowa State University created an environmental teach-in collection in the 1970s, joining a number of eco-initiatives and commitments across the country.
Since 2010, the Office of Sustainability has had the opportunity to collaborate with campus and community organizations to organize and host an annual Earth Day celebration event. This year, the Live Green! Team has worked diligently to offer students, faculty and staff three different opportunities to celebrate Earth Month and make a sustainable difference this April.
One way you can celebrate Earth Day every day is through your individual actions. This April, you have the opportunity to get rewarded for making sustainable choices by participating in our Earth Month Challenge. Starting April 1st and running through the entire month, participants can track sustainable actions they take each day in different areas of sustainability including waste, nature, energy, and wellbeing. Points are awarded for each action, and the top 10 point earners at the end of the month have the opportunity to win some unique, useful, and sustainable prizes, such as a set of reusable silicone snack bags. To register to take part in the challenge, fill out the form on the homepage of the Earth Month Challenge website, then use the site to track your points and see where you stand on the leaderboard throughout the month!
Your actions really do make a difference in your own life, in your community, and to our planet. Each week, our Earth Month Challenge will highlight a special “featured action.” The first featured action to kick off April is to prioritize sleep, which positively impacts our personal self-sustainability. This simple action can have a significant impact on your health, wellbeing, and your ability to actively participate in class and in activities. It is important to make sure we all take care of ourselves so that we can better care for our community and our planet!
Another action you can take this April is to get involved with a sustainable campus or community organization. Without the dedication of students, faculty, and members of the Ames community, there would be no Earth Month celebration! Individuals and organizations on campus and in our community make strides every day to create a sustainable future for all of us. One way to learn about and get connected to these organizations is by attending our Earth Day event.
In honor of Earth Day, Live Green! is hosting our annual Earth Day Celebration on Thursday, April 22nd, from 10:00am-2:00pm on the South Library Lawn. This event will feature displays from sustainability-focused student and community organizations and businesses. This is a great opportunity to network with people who share a passion for creating a sustainable future, learn something new about sustainability in our community, celebrate sustainable achievements, and get involved! Attendees will also have the opportunity to enjoy refreshments provided by ISU Dining (remember to bring your water bottle or reusable cup!), cookies, win sustainable prizes at the event, and to get their bikes tuned-up courtesy of ISU Outdoor Recreation.
As many of you know, we not only celebrate Earth Day each year on April 22nd, but we also encourage everyone to celebrate Earth Day every day! To find even more sustainability events and opportunities to celebrate Earth Day all month long, check out our 2021 Earth Month Calendar. This calendar provides a list of sustainability-related opportunities happening on campus and in the Ames community throughout April, as well as some virtual opportunities. On the calendar, you can even see which facet of sustainability each event connects to, whether it be social, environmental, or economic. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating sustainably all month long!
Although the 2020-2021 academic year is wrapping up, Earth Month could be the beginning of your sustainability journey. To stay connected to the latest news and event information, make sure to follow Live Green! on Twitter, Instagram , Facebook, as well as the monthly newsletter. To stay up-to-date on event details, tabling organizations, and to access the digital prize card, check out our Earth Day Facebook event page.
We look forward to celebrating with you on Earth Day!!
Have a great Earth Month!