This past Tuesday marked the 44th annual Earth Day! Despite my original nervousness due to some uncertainty concerning the weather (it was, after all, a Tuesday in Storrs), I am happy to report that April 22nd was a gorgeous day on campus, which made UConn’s yearly Earth Day Spring Fling a fantastic success. Sun shined down over the thousands of students, faculty, community members, and environmental exhibitors, all gathered to celebrate sustainability.
From 11am to 2pm, vendors ranging from student organizations to state departments, NGOs to sustainable stores and businesses, all set up camp on Fairfield Way. They provided recycling games galore, scrumptious free samples, environmentally friendly products, and information on a wide variety of environmental issues and practices.
Appealing to the many music lovers out there, we were lucky enough to have Dave Wanik and Meredith Rose perform. Their beautiful acoustic compositions set the perfect background vibe for the chatter between curious attendees and knowledgeable table hosts, as well as diners drawn in by the aromas of grilling.
The mouthwatering zero-waste barbeque, provided by our good friends from Dining Services, proved just how delicious local and sustainable foods can be. Diners strolled down the line, choosing from hamburgers and hotdogs from Connecticut, vegan veggie burgers from New Jersey, vegetarian Italian sausage from Massachusetts, and more. By keeping menu items to this New England crew, we shortened each food’s journey to UConn, reduced our carbon footprint, and helped promote local businesses! Once finished with their meals, attendees headed over to our sustainable waste stations, where they learned which parts of their waste were compostable and recyclable.
Finally, thanks to the help of our intern, Andy Bilich, we were able to plant a Quercus alba (or white oak, for those of you who are like me and don’t understand Latin) next to the Student Union. The tree stands as a tribute to Arbor Day (which is today!), as well as an informal symbol for the university.
Overall, the event was a great one. If you didn’t get a chance to come out and celebrate with us this year, be sure to come check out Earth Day Spring Fling next year!