Saving the environment
Students on Tuesday celebrated the 44th year of Earth Day, a holiday celebrated annually on April 22 worldwide.
The Office of Sustainability hosted UH Earth Day at Lynn Eusan Park and invited students to celebrate the planet and while learning about sustainability.
The event included free food and water, fun-filled activities and information about sustainability projects from UH and local organizations like the Horticulture Society, Galveston Bay Foundation and the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center.
“Earth Day was created to make people more aware of environmental causes and how we can all learn to treat the earth better,” said Sustainability Program Manager Sarah Kelly. “Our event will be a fun and exciting way for the UH community to accomplish this.”
Twenty exhibitors from UH and the city came out for Earth Day, Kelly said.
“All of the exhibitors will have some kind of interactive exhibit or display to engage students and other attendees. It should be a fun, educational event,” Kelly said. “We’ll also have some music playing. The artists either have an earthy sound or support environmental causes.”
History junior Farhan Khimani said he appreciated the event and enjoyed nature and tea samples.
“This was my first time visiting the Lynn Eusan Park,” Khimani said. “I like how they encourage recycling and gave out free water bottles. It was a hot day, so the water bottles were perfect for it. I also loved the Honest Tea samples.”
Khimani can thank Facilities Management Communications Manager Jacquie Vargas for the water bottles. Vargas said she hopes to enforce the idea of reusing water bottles to encourage recycling and sustainability.
“Hopefully, our Facilities Management table has helped share how much recycling we do and how much we help the environment,” Vargas said. “We have our water bottles, which we’ve been giving to be used with the H2O filling stations.”
Vargas said she hopes the stations will encourage removing plastic water bottles out of landfills.
“It’s a good way to encourage people to use the water-bottle filling stations. There are about 61 on campus now,” Vargas said. “Of course, you don’t have to use our water bottles, but we hope to encourage that and bring to attention the whole notion of sustainability, taking care the environment and passing on a better world for those to come.”
Sports and fitness graduate student Erin Daniels, who represented the Outdoor Adventure program, said she considers Earth Day one of her favorite holidays.
“Earth Day is very closely related to what the Outdoor Adventure Program does,” Daniels said. “Every single thing we do, every trip we run, every clinic we run, we use a ‘leave no traces’ principle.”
Daniel believes in eight simple principles to help the environment.
“One of our principles is pack everything in with you, pack everything out. So if you bring any food or trash in, everything comes out when we’re done with the trip,” Daniels said.
“(Another principle is) we minimize our camping impact. We make sure everything we do is sustainable in terms of the outdoor aspect of it. We also get people out to the environment to enjoy nature and understand why we want to protect it. So I think it’s very closely related to what Earth Day is all about.”
To learn more about UH’s Outdoor Adventure Program, please visit its Facebook page.
To learn about UH’s Office of Sustainability, please visit facebook.com/UHSustain.