This year, Earth Day was on Thursday, April, 22. To help encourage students to participate and learn more about the day, Mercyhurst University had events all throughout the week. Each of the freshman residence halls had events almost every day for the residents to participate in. Baldwin Hall had events every day of the week.
On Monday, students could make their own reusable grocery bags. On Tuesday, they learned how to make a piggy bank out of a plastic water bottle. On Wednesday, they offered to help students make their own recycled room decorations. On Thursday, students used recycled art to create masterpieces to use as decorations. And on Friday, they used an old t-shirt to make dog toys that were donated to a local shelter.
There were also more campus-wide events that were open for all students to attend during the week. One of them was a campus cleanup sponsored by Habitat for Humanity, MSG and the Sustainability Club.
This event took place on Sunday, April 18, and it is the second weekend in a row that there has been a campus cleanup. If anyone is interested in participating in a campus cleanup, there is another on Sunday, May 2 and all you have to do is check-in outside of Old Main for a shift. The shifts are from 12-1 p.m. and from 1-2 p.m.
There was also a pop-up event hosted by the Sustainability Club on Tuesday. At this pop-up event, the club was handing out plant kits that contained everything needed to plant them.
Another campus-wide event was when MSG hosted a speaker on Monday. The speaker was biologist and wildlife conservationist, Jeff Corwin.
Sophomore, Kailey Pisani, played a huge part in getting Corwin to come and speak to the students of Mercyhurst. “We have the best agent. Even if I don’t know what topic I’d like to have someone speak on, our agent takes the time to brainstorm with me and see what I feel resonates with our student body,” said Pisani when asked about getting the speaker.
“When it came to deciding on Jeff Corwin, I knew I wanted us to have a speaker to kick off Earth Week.” During the call, Corwin showed the students a number of wild animals and taught us about each of them and how unique they are in their own ways.
Pisani said, “I told our agent we wanted someone who could speak on sustainability, environmental awareness, or another topic that was relatable, and Jeff was our number one choice! We knew his presentation would be nothing like we had seen and would bring a new element to the series and make it feel like it was live!” when asked about how she decided on Corwin.
Parkhurst also had a stand in the Grotto Commons on Thursday where they showcase healthy foods from local producers. They talked with students about the importance of buying local food to help decrease the carbon footprint it would take to have the food shipped from far away.
“Our best chances of doing well by native animals is to support groups that are actively bettering their community. I think many of us would like to be the change and have the drive to help, but we sometimes just don’t know how.”
A scavenger hunt hosted by the MAC/SAC programmers took place on Friday, April 23. Students won sustainable prizes such as reusable sandwich bags and bamboo toothbrushes. There are so many simple things we can all do to help protect the planet.
Besides drinking out of reusable water bottles (which we can’t really do right now because of COVID), there are many other ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
When possible, walk or ride a bicycle instead of driving. If you don’t already have one, buy a Brita filter instead of plastic water bottles; they save money and the Earth.
On laundry day, use cold water to wash your clothes, and shop with reusable grocery bags. It also helps to unplug your phone charger when you aren’t using it.
Recycle what you can, and use biodegradable materials when possible. These small everyday things can have a huge impact on the planet.