The grass is greener here.
The Memorial Union East patio was the place to be this Earth Day. Scorch on the Porch was dedicated to the holiday’s celebration. From free ice-cream to live music to furry friends with Helping Hands Humane Society, this Earth Day celebration was successful in drawing a crowd. Students spent some time with each other enjoying the festival-like atmosphere in near perfect weather. Everything lined up for the makings of a good time in celebration of Earth Day.
“I heard there were dogs here, and I like petting dogs,” said freshman Holly Jamison on why she came to the celebration. “It helps the dogs get socialized and in turn helps them get adopted; and petting them can help relieve anxiety in people. I didn’t know about the ice-cream, but I’m way happier now.”
Helping Hands Humane Society is always a major draw for students to attend campus events. Earth Day is one of the less-than-glamorous holidays, claiming very few bells and whistles; but maybe that’s the point. Holidays like Christmas and Halloween claim insurmountable levels of paper waste each year. Celebrations for Earth Day like Washburn’s this year are a great way to promote the message behind the holiday.
With its debut less than 50 years ago in 1970, Earth Day is a relatively new holiday. It was established in the time of widespread anti-war protests which aimed to put more focus on the environment and raise the public’s consciousness of its preservation and care. Since then, the focus has shifted to issues such as clean energy and global warming.
As we move forward in striving for a greener lifestyle, it’s important to recognize the small things we can do to aid in cleaning up and caring for the planet. Freshman Isabella Provence has been celebrating Earth Day with her friends for years and has even found ways to make it fun and socially engaging.
“It started in elementary school,” said Provence. “They gave us trees to plant, so I planted a tree in my back yard that I still tend to. And every Earth Day, my friends and I would go pick up trash in the community. We play Pokémon Go, so as I walk around doing that [today] I’ll be picking up trash here and there.”
For Provence, her Earth Day activities go beyond hanging out with friends. She also has a passion for caring for the planet by living a green life and raising awareness of major issues surrounding the subject.
“Climate change has been a big push but even how rapidly it’s [Earth] deteriorating and how all the animals are being killed by deforestation," said Provence. "We’re losing key species and no one is noticing.”
Spending time outside like many students did on campus this Earth Day is key in truly appreciating not only the Earth, but the community we have within it. Underneath the lighthearted celebrations of Earth Day a is a desperate call to greener living.
“It’s [Earth] the only one we have,” said Provence. “Considering the state it’s in, it needs all the help that it can get right now."