April 17, 2013

Earth Day 2013 Festival

Student fair and concert, plus Annie Leonard and the Story of Stuff
Sustainability expert Annie Leonard, creator of the documentary The Story of Stuff, will close Earth Day with a keynote address, film screening, and book signing, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. in Bowker Auditorium.

The Earth Day 2013 celebration, which takes place as UMass Amherst marks its 150th birthday, offers students and staff a chance to honor the school’s past as well as an opportunity to celebrate the future.

According to Sarah Hebert ’12, a sustainability science master’s degree candidate who serves as student sustainability coordinator, "Students want to celebrate the school’s history in a cool way so we came up with a fun T-shirt slogan for Earth Day this year that reads 'UMass Amherst, Sustainable since 1863.'"

While phrases like "sustainability science" were not used to describe courses in the late 1800s, the UMass Amherst legacy of meaningful, effective, cutting-edge environmental education is a very real part of the university's history.

From its start as the Massachusetts Agricultural College up to the present day, when UMass Amherst has become one of the premier environmental research institutions in the nation, there is much to be proud of this Earth Day.

Earth Day 2013 celebrates some of that history with an abundance of engaging on-campus activities including a student festival and concert series held in the Founders Day tent, and a Trashion Show featuring student-designed outfits made from recycled materials. Prizes will be presented by Josefine Nowitz ’13, recently named a Sustainable Leader Award Winner of 2013 in a national competition.

The day’s events will close with a keynote address by world-renowned sustainability expert Annie Leonard, creator of the documentary The Story of Stuff.

“We’re really hopeful that even more students get a chance to enjoy the events this year and find a way to take part. For all the sustainability folks on campus, and there are a lot of us around here, this is one of our favorite days of the year,” says Ezra Small ’07G, UMass campus sustainability manager.