UNI celebrates Earth Day

A blue sky brought students, faculty, staff and community members to the University of Northern Iowa Maucker Union Plaza to celebrate all things green on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, April 22.

UNI Earth Day displaysMore than 30 educational displays were set up, representing on- and off-campus groups promoting energy conservation, waste reduction, recycling, pollution prevention, renewable energy sources, outdoor activities, local food consumption and environmental protection, among other conservation and environmental initiatives.

Hundreds lined up for free bike tune-ups and organic vegetable tacos, and many participated in the Earth Day 5K. Even TC  got in on the action, handing out reusable canvas bags with the UNI c.a.r.e. logo, which stands for "creating a responsible environment."

"With such a variety of information, whatever your interests are, you can find a connection," said Jenny Bruss, program and community outreach coordinator for UNI's Recycling & Reuse Technology Transfer Center.

Bruss and a team of students who work at the RRTTC organized the Earth Day Celebration and activities earlier in the week to focus on sustainability and environmental protection. Each year the quality and quantity of events grows, as does campus participation.

"It's rewarding to see people become more engaged year after year," Bruss said. "Once Earth Day was the only day of the year people thought about recycling or about their impact on the environment. Now it's more of a day to celebrate and recognize efforts made continually throughout the year."