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April 16, 2010
MARYVILLE, Mo. - Northwest will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day with a weeklong "bearthday" bash that will include an array of eco-friendly educational activities.
Earth Day, which is Thursday, April 22, was born in 1970 as a way to create awareness about environmental issues. In December of that year, Congress authorized the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which was charged with repairing damage already done to the environment and establishing guidelines for a cleaner and safer environment.
To commemorate the 40th anniversary, Campus Dining and the Northwest Recycling Committee are joining forces and hosting several programs focused on environmental stewardship.
"Everyone is a steward of sustainability at Northwest Missouri State University," said Tina Lankas, senior food service director at Northwest. "Our Earth Week events are an opportunity for our students, faculty and staff to get involved and participate in these efforts. Sustainability isn't just about environmental concerns. It's about social, economic equity and viability as well. We have to change our behavior for a better tomorrow."
The week's schedule includes guest speaker Dr. Charles Perry, a researcher with the U.S. Geological Survey Hydrology Office in Lawrence, Kan. Perry will lecture on climate change from 3 to 5 p.m. in Garret-Strong Room 2560. The lecture is sponsored by the geology department.
On Wednesday, all students, faculty and staff are encouraged to join the "Dim the Lights" campaign to emphasize the importance of turning off unnecessary lighting across campus.
On Thursday in the Bearcat Food Court, free birthday cake will be provided to all diners. That evening, an Earth Day buffet will focus on eating from the ground up with a variety of grains, beans, vegetables and fruits.
Also at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, fourth graders from Maryville's three elementary schools - Eugene Field, St. Gregory and Horace Mann - will join city and campus representatives to plant trees at Northwest's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Informational booths placed in dining areas will be focused on various sustainability initiatives, including the University's new glass recycling machine and the Reduce Your Paw Print reusable bag program.
Among the initiatives already in place by Campus Dining, 100 percent of fryer oil is diverted for conversion to bio-diesel. The campus also uses biodegradable products, energy-efficient vending machines, recycled non-bleached napkins and eco-friendly APEX cleaning products in all dish machines. Campus Dining has incorporated a refillable fountain beverage program, fair trade coffee selections in Java City, natural and organic foods at the C-store and sustainable seafood in the Bearcat Food Court and JW's Grille.
A complete listing of Earth Week activities at Northwest is listed below.
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468