UF asks Gators to mark 40 days of change to commemorate Earth Day

March 1, 2010

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida Office of Sustainability will sponsor “40 Days of Change” in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.

From March 16 to April 24, members of the local community and Gator Nation are invited to make a change in their lives, homes and world by participating in sustainability-focused events throughout the area.

“40 Days of Change” will launch on March 16 with a series of interactive activities at the Reitz Student Union. Participants can plant their own edible greens, make jewelry from recycled materials, and learn more about the campaign.

The campaign encourages participants to be active both socially and physically through interactive events including University of Florida Lacrosse and Softball “Green Games” on March 17, the Gainesville Environmental Film & Arts Festival on March 19-28, a handmade natural soap workshop on March 20, “Range, Furrow, and Grove: Images of Florida Agriculture” photography exhibition on April 5-17, walking tours of Paynes Prairie every Thursday and “5 Days 5 Issues” presentations by UF student organizations April 5-9.

The focal point of “40 Days of Change” will be the 2010 Florida Food Summit, hosted by the UF Office of Sustainability, on April 12 -13. The event will take place at the university’s Reitz Student Union and will facilitate networking, dialogue, and visioning among members of the Florida food system, and help develop the connections needed for robust farm-to-institution programs.

The campaign will culminate with Earth Day events on campus and in the community April 19-24. UF’s campus Earth Day celebration on April 21st will include the annual State of Sustainability address by President Bernie Machen on the Plaza of the Americas, followed by the presentation of this year’s Sustainable Solutions Award recipients. Sustainable Alachua County and the UF Office of Sustainability will host “Earth Days,” the movie, at the Hippodrome during the week, and on April 24, the Florida Museum of Natural History will hold a community Earth Day celebration and Rebuild Together will provide a chance to volunteer in the community for National Rebuilding Day.

“40 Days of Change” is an opportunity for community members to learn more about sustainability initiatives while contributing and interacting with each other. The full schedule of events, with information on times and locations, is available on the Office of Sustainability’s Web site, www.sustainability.ufl.edu.