Get your green thumb dirty: Try some of these Rutgers Earth Day activities
Established in 1970, Earth Day marks the anniversary of the launch of the modern environmental movement, which fittingly began on college campuses.
Because the environment had begun to noticeably suffer as a result of the Industrial Revolution, Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis) proposed that universities should hold teach-ins, or lectures, about environmental issues to ignite passion for the environment in college students.
To encourage participation, April 22 was chosen as the date because it fell during the lull between spring break and final exams. The day attracted considerable media attention and participation from various organizations nationwide, ultimately becoming the Earth Day we know today.
By the end of 1970, Earth Day's success was unmistakable with the establishment of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the passing of laws such as the Clean Air Act and the National Environmental Education Act.
This Earth Day, at Rutgers, we should continue the tradition of promoting knowledge about the environment on college campuses. Here are a few ways to get you started on your sustainability journey.
EcoPreserve Trails Work Day
Visit the Rutgers University Ecological Preserve on Livingston campus to help pick up trash and plant trees from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. this Sunday.
RU Thrifty Earth Day Picnic and Fashion Show
Join RU Thrifty on Saturday for a picnic from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Voorhees Mall on the College Avenue campus. At 2 p.m., there will be a fashion show featuring thrifted outfits curated by club members with pieces that will be used in future pop-up thrift shops around campus.
At the event, you can learn about the upcoming Fashion Revolution Week and the dangers of fast fashion. The club will also have homemade items for sale, such as jewelry, woodcrafts, prints and posters, stickers and more from local vendors. You can also learn about other sustainability organizations at Rutgers, like Students for Environmental Awareness (SEA).
All the Small Things with Big Environmental Impacts Webinar Series
Every Monday until June 26, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., there will be a Zoom webinar hosted by two New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station extension programs. During these webinars, you can engage with an educated and experienced speaker from Rutgers as they discuss an environmental issue.
Next Monday, Judith Weis, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Rutgers—Newark, will discuss the impact of microplastics on the environment. Register here.
Community Planting Event
Join the Rutgers University Programming Association and the Rutgers Undergraduate Students for the Plant Sciences to decorate a pot and grow a plant while learning more about New Jersey's environment and how to take better care of it. This event will take place on today from noon to 2 p.m. on the patio at the Cook Student Center.
Clean Up Boyd Park
Meet up with Rutgers Climate Reality and SEA on Friday to clean up Boyd Park and pick up trash. The clubs will meet at College Hall on Douglass campus at 2:15 p.m. and clean until 4:30 p.m.
Volunteer with Rutgers Cooperative Extension through the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station
If you're looking for a long-term way to volunteer, consider joining the array of opportunities available through the Rutgers Cooperative Extension, including becoming a Rutgers Master Gardener or working with the New Jersey Woodland Stewards. Be trained by experts at Rutgers and learn to better serve the community.
Visit the Rutgers Gardens
Go for a walk and appreciate nature at the Rutgers Gardens near Douglass campus. There are countless beautiful flowers and plants as well as great places to sit and enjoy nature.
There's also a student-led farm that grows produce for a fresh farmers market starting May 7. The gardens are open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day except for Monday, and the farmer's market is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays.
Join a sustainable Rutgers organization
From the RU Outdoors Club to RU Compost to the Green Print Magazine, there are plenty of organizations at Rutgers that promote the environment. Get involved by joining one of these clubs to further your knowledge of sustainability and be guided in improving your daily practices.
When you learn that the actions you take every day make a difference, you can ensure that your habits are positive and productive. Spend this Earth Day appreciating and supporting the environment around you.