UF hosts annual Earth Day celebration, wraps up '40 Days of Change'

April 14, 2010

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida Office of Sustainability will host the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day Campus Celebration from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 21 at the Plaza of the Americas.

The event is the culmination of the “40 Days of Change” campaign that kicked off on March 16 and will feature a variety of commemorative and interactive sustainability focused events.

The Earth Day celebration will include various activities and opportunities for students, staff and faculty to recognize notable sustainability achievements of the past year and discuss opportunities for the future. UF President Bernie Machen will deliver his annual report on the State of Sustainability at UF at 1 p.m., followed by the presentation of this year’s Sustainable Solutions Awards.

The awards recognize individuals or teams that have made significant contributions toward advancing sustainability at UF. Qualifying projects will have helped to realize UF’s sustainability vision in the areas of waste reduction, energy efficiency and water conservation. Awards will also be presented to the most active Green Team, the most active student organization and the winner of the “Bright Idea” competition.

Additional activities include a plant giveaway, a household hazardous waste roundup, interactive opportunities to learn more about UF’s commitment to sustainability and a clothing drive co-sponsored by Goodwill. Participants who donate clean, gently used clothing will receive a discount on a limited edition Earth Day shirt designed by Gators for a Sustainable Campus. Tables on the Plaza will feature information about sustainability from campus and community organizations.

From 11 a.m. to noon, professionals from a variety of industries will discuss “Greening Your Career: Bringing Sustainability into the Workplace.” Panelists will offer advice and take questions regarding incorporating sustainability into any job position and business model.

Several related activities will also happen next week.

From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 21, Gator Dining will host an Earth Day banquet at Fresh Food Company. From 5:30 to 7 p.m. April 22, the Hippodrome State Theatre in downtown Gainesville will celebrate Earth Day with an open reception followed immediately by a showing of the documentary, “Earth Days.” On April 24, the Harn Museum of Art and Florida Museum of Natural History are joining together once again to celebrate Earth Day. The free event at the UF Cultural Plaza features crafts, painting demonstrations, live music, a dance performance, educational presentations and organic food.