Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass celebrates Earth Day 2023

UMass community calls for a sustainable school
Shilpa Sweth/ Daily Collegian (2023)

On Friday, April 21, the University of Massachusetts community celebrated Earth Day with a gathering on Goodell Lawn. The weather was ideal, almost as if the community was being thanked by Mother Nature for promoting her health and well-being.

The event, which lasted from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., had a large turnout of students. With a focus on sustainability and environmental awareness, a variety of vendors and RSOs participated in thrifting, smoothie making, baking and beekeeping.

Organized primarily by Jack Minella, a junior majoring in environmental science, the Earth Day Extravaganza proved to be a success. “The support was overwhelming in the most positive way,” he said.

Minella, who is the president of Sunrise, an environmental action organization, also expressed a desire for “bridging the gap between students and administration in terms of on-campus sustainability.” He feels that many students want to be more involved and have great ideas that could improve the environment, but oftentimes they are not heard.

To many students on this campus, this was an extremely important gathering that signified the urgency of the climate crisis.

“Community engagement and organizing is one of the best ways to begin to solve the problem that is climate change,” Rachel King, a senior environmental science major, said.

King, the secretary of sustainability for the Student Government Organization, went on to say that she was encouraged by the University’s Carbon Zero initiative. She explained that UMass has a long way to go but that “they are moving in the right direction, especially by using geothermal steam systems.”

In general, spirits were high at the Earth Day Extravaganza. ABBA and Fleetwood Mac played over the speakers, adding to the ambience.

“Everyone is out; everyone is happy to be here. It’s been great,” Helena Pham, a sophomore hospitality and tourism major, said. Pham also works at Earthfoods Café, a student-run business located in the Student Union that is currently hiring new co-managers.

“The people here have been so nice, and a lot of people are interested and have lots of questions about the bees,” Molly Brewer, a junior animal science major and member of the beekeeping club, said. Brewer acknowledged the stigma surrounding bees but said, “You just have to get to know them and give them a chance before rushing to judgment.”

I went to the Earth Day Extravaganza expecting to communicate with people, but I did not expect to gain so much insight about myself.

Even as I spoke to Abraham, a senior BDIC student who was painting beautiful works of art, I found myself questioning my purpose. “As humans, we can actually use our power as intellectual beings to further other species, other forms of life,” he explained.

Kindly consider taking action to aid the environment, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. When we work together as a collective community, even minor efforts can contribute to making strides towards a sustainable future.

Michael Pastorello can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @mcpastorello.

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  • B

    Billie McLeanApr 24, 2023 at 3:09 pm

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading this article. I especially enjoyed how the writer, Michael Pastorello, wasn’t expecting to gain much from attending but actually learned a lot about himself and the impact we have on the environment and the differences we can make. Very well written.

  • M

    MadysonApr 24, 2023 at 9:46 am

    Fascinating article! I’m so glad this important event was covered.

  • P

    Pat grimesApr 24, 2023 at 9:22 am

    Great job! Thank you for reporting on such a important event.