Earth Day events to promote sustainability, connection to nature

Susan Riello

For the first time, this year’s Earth Day events at Quinnipiac will take place over the span of two months, ending with the Earth Day celebration on April 18.

[media-credit id=1508 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]The events and activities will include a “Hike to Yoga” series on Sleeping Giant, volleyball tournaments, cook-offs, movie showings and obstacle courses. Students will be able to log their participation in these events through Blackboard, and the two students who attend the most events will earn a prize. In the past, prizes have included bikes.

Students can access the Earth Day events list through Blackboard by searching for “Earth Day” in the “Community” tab and clicking enroll on the drop down menu next to the event name. They will then see “Earth Day” under their organizations and can follow the instructions from there.

Instructor of Biomedical Sciences Kristen Wolfe, who is also a member of the QU Sustainability Committee, has been working to increase awareness about environmental issues through these events across campus.

“I want students to think about Earth Day more than just one day,” Wolfe said. “It’s too convenient to have one day set aside to think about sustainability and issues that have a real effect on human beings.”

The official Earth Day event will be held on April 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Burt Kahn Court.

There will be numerous events inside Burt Kahn, including an appearance by CJ Mays, a sustainability-themed magician who is also known as “The Resourcerer.” Representatives from the organization “Animal Embassy” in Stamford will bring animals to the event for students to interact with and learn about their habitats.

The annual Farmer’s Market will also take place on Earth Day outside of Burt Kahn Court, and will feature the ‘Caseus’ grilled cheese truck and a cupcake truck, as well as other baked goods and local produce.

There will also be free food from Chartwells, student posters, free T-shirt and flower giveaways, raffle prizes and eco-friendly vendors.

“For the past few years, my role in the Earth Day events has been to organize the vendors and pick out incentives, including raffle prizes,” said Jillian Moruzzi, a graduate MBA student. “When I go about looking for vendors, I go on and look for vendors in Connecticut that offer handmade products or offer recyclable materials.”

This year’s vendors will be selling jewelry beads made from recycled glass and recycled burlap messenger bags, according to Moruzzi. There will also be a Quinnipiac alum who makes notebooks, notepads and other paper products out of materials like recycled cereal boxes and old game boards.

“I hope that the events leading up to Earth Day and those on the actual day seem really fun and engaging to students,” Moruzzi said. “Nobody just wants to walk by some booth and hear someone preaching about sustainability. These events actually allow students to get involved in nature.”

Wolfe said that by having multiple environment-related events, she hopes that students will be able to incorporate eco-friendly habits into their everyday lives as opposed to just one day each April.

“By participating in these events, students can reconnect with nature and understand our changing relationship with the environment while having fun,” Wolfe said. “We want students to become more aware of biodiversity and climate change, and get the word out that they actually can make that difference.”