This year’s Campus Earth Day to include Farmers Market, Food Fair

Published: April 5 2012

Category:InsideUF, Top Stories

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida Office of Sustainability will host its annual Campus Earth Day event on Friday on the Reitz Student Union North Lawn. To tie back to its spring “Food For Thought” campaign, a Farmers Market and Food Fair have been added to lineup.

To kick off the event, the a cappella group “The Staff” will perform immediately before UF President Bernie Machen takes the stage to deliver his State of Sustainability address at 11:35 a.m. A presentation of this year’s Sustainable Solutions Award winners will follow the speech.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., students, staff and faculty will also have the opportunity to pick up some produce from local farmers, see a student art installation related to sustainability, and connect to a number of campus and community sustainability-related organizations.

At the ceremony, the office will also recognize the 2012 Eco-Challenge: Battle of the Halls winner, and the winner of the EcoInnovation Challenge business pitch competition. The challenge asks students to submit an idea to make a positive social, economic or environmental change that meets the requirements of a B-Corporation. B Corporations use the power of business to create public benefit. Six finalists will present a 5-minute pitch to a panel of judges and an audience of up to 100 people on Friday.

“We are excited to incorporate a market and fair into this year’s event,” said Anna Prizzia, director of the Office of Sustainability. “It is a great way to connect the campus community to resources and organizations, and this will hopefully provide a fun and convenient way for people to see the bounty that exists on campus and in Gainesville.”

Prior to Campus Earth Day, lights around several recognizable buildings on campus went dark as UF observed Earth Hour for the fifth year. Earth Hour is a worldwide effort to turn off lights to raise awareness of energy consumption and conservation, and officially took place for an hour starting at 8:30 p.m. March 31. At UF, nonessential lighting at various locations was turned off for the duration of the weekend, such as those at Century Tower and on fountains and outdoor art installations.

Students on and off campus, as well as staff and faculty, were encouraged to participate in conjunction with this year’s Earth Hour, and on an ongoing basis through the office’s Chomp Down on Energy campaign. The Alachua County Board of Commissioners also joined the effort by drafting an Earth Hour Resolution to participate by turning off lights in County Administrative Buildings.

Earth Hour started in Sydney, Australia, and became a global event in 2008 when more than 4,000 cities around the world participated. In 2010, 128 countries were represented, making it the biggest Earth Hour to date.

More information on Sustainable UF’s Earth Day activities and a map of drop-off spots at the collection site can be found at For more information about Earth Hour, visit


Ashley Pennington,, 352-392-7578

Category:InsideUF, Top Stories