This April, the 50th anniversary of the inaugural Earth Day will take place. With that, the Albion College Center for Sustainability and the Environment (CSE) will be hosting several Earth Day 50 events for students and the community, free of charge.
Albion College has a long history of Earth Day involvement, dating back to the first Earth Day in 1970. Walt Pomeroy, an Albion student at the time, organized a river clean up and a can stomp to raise awareness. The clean up efforts caught the attention of the CBS Evening News, who visited Albion in 1970 to document the efforts.
“There’s a legacy at Albion for that involvement and the power of that first event, which was important in the history of the environmental movement, and the health of the environment,” said biology professor and CSE director Doug White.
Now, CSE is continuing that legacy years later with the Earth Day 50 celebration.
To kick off Earth Day 50, CSE students and faculty created “Water Bottle Falls,” an art piece located in the science complex atrium.
White described the art as a symbol for environmental sustainability.
“Water Bottle Falls is meant to encourage people to use water bottle refilling stations, by making them realize how many of those plastic water bottles there are,” said White.
Last year, 60 water bottle filling stations were added on campus, thanks to a generous donation from alumni Bruce and Jane Harper. Their Earth Day 50 Gift is also helping fund the many speakers and events for Earth Day 50 on campus this spring.
Among these events will be keynote speaker Hank Green. Known for his popular “Crash Course” YouTube series, Green will headline the eventlist this spring. Green will be speaking in Norris 101 on March 11 at 7:30 p.m.
White said he sees Green as somebody who can reach a younger generation to spread environmental awareness.
“There is a new media universe, and new ways to think about and reach people about these problems,” said White. “That’s the reason for picking him as a keynote speaker.”
Another event this spring is an opportunity to create Earth Day 50 tye-dye t-shirts. The custom logo will feature a peace sign with a wind turbine in the center in order to commemorate the first Earth Day in the hippy-defined 70s.
Soon, the Earth Day 50 event schedule will be spread across campus via informational flyers and monitors. People can also check the CSE website for up-to-date event information.
For those interested in sharing their experiences at events this spring, the CSE is encouraging the use of “#earthday” and “#myalbion” on social media.