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 the annual Earth Day Extravaganza

UMass community gets together to celebrate Earth Day and inspire positive climate change
Ishani Roy
Daily Collegian (2024)

On a crisp, sunny Friday, April 26, hundreds of students gathered at the University of Massachusetts to celebrate climate positivity and our Earth at the annual Earth Day Extravaganza. The event took place at Goodell Lawn in collaboration with the weekly Student Farmer’s Market. There were multiple vendors, yard games and wellness activities, each promoting sustainability and an environmentally friendly future.

There was a joint effort between numerous organizations on campus, including the Student Government Association, UMass Permaculture Initiative, UMass Student Farm, Sustainable UMass/Physical Plant Sustainability and UMass Sunrise who organized this event.

Earth Day, celebrated annually on April 22, acts as a global reminder of the significance of sustainability and environmental preservation. It offers a forum for bringing urgent ecological issues to public attention, such as pollution, deforestation, climate change and biodiversity loss. On Earth Day, people worldwide pledge to protect the environment for coming generations by encouraging sustainable practices including conservation, clean energy and responsible consumption. The day plays a vital role in motivating individual and group actions towards a healthier, more sustainable planet by encouraging a sense of shared responsibility and inspiring positive change.

One of the main attractions of the Extravaganza was Acroyoga, hosted by UMass Recreation & Wellbeing. There were many students in all sorts of Yoga positions in the middle of the lawn connecting their mind, breath and body.

Other Earth Day activities included Collaborative Weaving Art Project with Anna Chapman sponsored by Sunrise, Movement Games and Activities with Moti Zemelman, Thing Swap with the Mutual Aid Project, Acroyoga with UMass Recreation & Wellbeing, Smoothie Bike, Workshop with Building Solidarity & Economies Program, Genocide & Ecocide Workshop with Decenters on Militarization & Climate Change and STPEC Earth Day Concert & Rally after the Extravaganza.

The stalls were filled with eager students waiting to learn and buy the different goods offered. There was something for everyone, from clothes, art pieces, friendly bugs, food and more. The lively chatter and laughter filled the air.

The SGA sustainability stall had a couple of petitions of surveys to see if students are interested in initiatives that make UMass more sustainable, such as implementing reusable containers at Grab ’N Go and installing more bike racks outside of dining halls. Additionally, the Sustainable Organization Coalition aimed to reach beyond the petitions and gather students interested in the needs of climate action.

Jack Minella, secretary of sustainability at SGA, said, “I would love to expand this beyond where we have it right now. We’ve been working on this since before winter break started and the planning for next year’s event starts tomorrow. We’re expanding things like the Sustainability Coalition and seeing how many students are really interested in getting involved in sustainability efforts.”

Many people can be credited for the Earth Day Extravaganza, including Hannah Gould, Juliana Green, Lizzie Laughlin, Jo Fuchs, Dan Bensonoff, Ezra Small, Laurie Simmons and Brendan Post.

The amount of hard work, dedication and passion everyone put into this event was evident and inspiring. It shows that the newer generations recognize the power that students have as young changemakers for the future of our planet.

The Earth Day Extravaganza was an event to remember for this academic year. It is important to remember that Earth Day should be celebrated every day because this is our home forever. As students, it is our duty to maintain a healthy home environment, thus we should exercise caution while making decisions that affect it.

Ishani Roy can be reached at [email protected].

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