UNC Charlotte Celebrates Earth Day - myfoxcarolinas.com

UNC Charlotte Celebrates Earth Day

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Charlotte, NC -

UNC Charlotte celebrated Earth Day a little early this year, but with plenty of style. The university’s Facilities Management Team sponsored the festival. UNC Charlotte has observed Earth Day for twenty-two years.

Students and faculty at UNC Charlotte realize the importance of sustainability and protecting our natural resources. The College of Health and Human Services Plaza was buzzing with booths, exhibitions, demonstrations and outdoor activities.

Kathy Boutin-Pasterz, UNC Charlotte’s Recycling Coordinator said, “It’s a time for us to show the campus that each person can make a difference by just doing one thing.”

Many organizations from around the university came out to demonstrate what alternatives are available to the community. Campus organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Earth Club, Eco-Reps, Charlotte Green Initiative, Venture, the UNC Charlotte Environmental Health and Safety office and campus police were present.

A senior design project was on display aimed at making recycling fun and interactive. The team built a solar powered recycling bin that will allow those who recycle to play a game.

They will unveil the final product in early May. Helping the planet and playing a game? It’s a win-win.

Over 30 exhibitors from around the university and community brought the latest technology to show the public that there are alternatives, and they are as high tech as they come.

“We're just excited to have the community come to the university and share the different ideas about sustainability and just what you can do at a grassroots level to impact your future and the future of this wonderful planet,” UNC Charlotte’s Recycling Crew Leader, Lee Arnold said.

Joseph Galloway, a UNC Charlotte student and part of the Eco-Reps program at the university, displayed an app that rewards for sustainable actions.

“Joulebug, it's an online app that you earn points and badges through doing sustainable actions, like reusing a reusable water bottle, like taking a bike to work, or something like that. Pretty much any sustainable action that you can do, you get points for. We're trying to promote sustainability and offering it to the residents and offering them prizes for it.”

There are so many little things we can all do to be a bit more sustainable. Simple actions such as turning off the light when you leave a room, reusing a reusable water bottle or riding a bike to work-all of them add up quickly.

Participants were even allowed to “eat” fluorescent light bulbs. How you ask? Through a machine known as the “bulb eater,” a device that crushes fluorescent bulbs.

Bruce Crowell, who works with the UNC Charlotte Environmental Health and Safety Office, demonstrated how the bulb eater reduces the waste that is dumped into landfills.

“Bulbs are fed into this machine and it basically crushes the bulb, rendering it down to a powder…Thirty boxes that would typically go into a landfill is reduced to one drum.”

Earth Day has been recognized internationally since April 22, 1970. It began on college campuses to teach youth what we are doing to the environment and how we can change our habits to protect our home for many generations to come.

For Brittany Enriquez, a UNC Charlotte Senior, she knows the importance of Earth Day, and how the changes made today will leave a legacy tomorrow.

“I think Earth Day here at UNCC is a really great opportunity just for students to come out and hear more about what’s going on around the world.”

Everyone can make a difference, no matter how small the action. If we all make one small change, those small changes add up to one big difference. It’s an equation we should all help in solving. That’s what Earth Day is all about.

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