The university hosts the Earth Day festival annually

The celebration, hosted by the Office of Sustainability, featured several student organizations showcasing their sustainability efforts.

Several organizations came together to celebrate Friday at Binghamton University’s annual Earth Day Festival.

The festival, organized by the Office of Sustainability, provided the campus community with an opportunity to promote sustainability across campus and in the community. Clubs and organizations at the event include Zero Hour Binghamton, the Food Co-Op, the Binghamton Upcycle Project, the Sierra Club, the Ross Park Zoo, the Food Pantry and the Q Center. Each table shared how the organization approached students about the importance of protecting the environment and finding ways to promote sustainability.

“The annual Earth Day Festival, organized by the Office of Sustainability, provides the campus community with a glimpse into some of the sustainability-related groups and opportunities available at (BU),” wrote Martin Larocca, the university’s sustainability manager. “This year’s participating organizations consist of student groups, academic departments, campus offices, programs and off-campus organizations. Participants can learn more about these organizations, how their work relates to different aspects of sustainability and have the opportunity to get involved in these efforts.”

Earth Day, celebrated on April 22, was first organized in 1970 by Gaylord Nelson, a former governor and senator from Wisconsin, to build public support for the environmental movement. Together with Denis Hayes, a graduate student at Harvard University, Earth Day helped educate participants about environmental degradation and the importance of conservation.

About 20 million Americans celebrated the first Earth Day on college campuses and local neighborhoods. Nelson believed that the creation of Earth Day helped push the environmental movement into the mainstream, leading to the passage of environmental legislation in the 1970s.

The Earth Day Festival represents the university’s commitment to making its campus more sustainable for its students and staff by using methods to help restore the global ecosystem, promote healthy living and reduce human impact on the environment.

“As an institution of higher education, we are committed to leading by example,” Larocca wrote. “We strive to integrate sustainable practices into every facet of our campus community. Actions we take in our daily lives come at a cost to carbon emissions. This varies from switching on the lighting, water consumption to purchasing and disposing of materials. Engaging events, like Earth Day, highlight activities the campus community can do to reduce their impact on the environment and help mitigate accelerating climate change.”

The Food Co-Op, a student-run organic supermarket and café in the University Union Undergrounds that uses compostable and recyclable products, was present at the festival. Members shared the importance of maintaining sustainable business operations by providing a place where students have the opportunity to eat vegan, locally produced organic food at an affordable price.

“To me, (Earth Day) is about raising awareness and really just reaching as many people as possible,” said Maggie Saville, general manager of the Food Co-Op and a senior majoring in environmental sciences. “Climate change is a huge problem that we can’t deal with without really motivating everyone and getting everyone on board to fight this problem.”

Zero Hour Binghamton, an environmental justice organization, is working with the university and local organizers in Vestal, Johnson City and Binghamton to address issues related to climate change. They contacted attendees and tried to convince them to sign a petition against the university’s plan to install artificial turf fields at Mountainview and Newing Colleges.

“To me, Earth Day signifies the beauty of the planet we live on and the commitment to protect it,” said Jacob Weber, vice president of the organization and a junior double majoring in philosophy, politics and law and environmental studies. “I like being outside. I love hiking and backpacking and the natural beauty around me, and much of it is disappearing. And I think Earth Day is an important time to rally people who may not understand that, just as some of the people here on the agenda for Earth Day are doing to try to let them participate in climate action, such as the fight against artificial turf fields. that could help preserve our planet at the expense of development.”