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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

April 14, 2013

Northwest looks to raise environmental awareness with Earth Day activities

Northwest Missouri State University is aiming to create a greater awareness of sustainability and environmental well-being during a week of activities tied to Earth Day, which is celebrated annually April 22.

Northwest is hosting a series of programs and activities throughout the week that include creating recycled crafts, sustainable cooking demonstrations, a science-based Olympics contest and displays to illustrate the impact of waste on the environment.

Among the highlights, the public is invited to join the Northwest community for a tree-planting event at 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, east of the J.W. Jones Student Union. The University will plant about 80 news trees representing 30 different species on the campus, which is designated as the Missouri state arboretum. In case of rain Tuesday, the tree-planting event will take place at 2 p.m. Thursday.

On Friday, the public is invited to compete in the Geo-Olympics, sponsored by the Northwest Geo Club. The event will feature teams of individuals competing in a series of contests that will include racing a half-mile while carrying backpacks weighing 30 to 50 pounds, throwing an 8-pound hammer, a navigation challenge and a mud scramble. Registration is $5 per person beginning at 1:30 p.m. at the Raymond J. Courter College Park Pavilion, and the competition begins at 2 p.m. All proceeds go to support the Geo Club.

Capping the events, Northwest will host a showing of “Switch,” a documentary in which energy visionary Dr. Scott Tinker travels the world in exploration of leading energy sites using coal, solar, oil, biofuels and other energy sources. Tinker seeks answers from people driving energy initiatives, including international leaders of government, industry and academia. The Northwest screening is at 7 p.m. Monday, April 22, in the Charles Johnson Theater and will be followed by a panel discussion featuring energy and natural resources professionals. The event is free and open to the public.

Earth Day was founded April 22, 1970, to create an awareness of environmental issues. That same year, Congress created the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which is responsible for repairing environmental damage and establishes guidelines for a cleaner, safer environment.

Northwest, meanwhile, has been a leader in using alternative fuels since 1982 when the University established a biomass energy system utilizing wood chips under then-President Dr. B.D. Owens. In 1990, Northwest enhanced its energy program by adding discarded newspaper, corrugated and cardboard boxes, magazines and other clean paper products to its alternative fuel processes, and, in 2001, Northwest began using animal waste from the University’s farm to create a virtually odor-free pellet that is burned as fuel.

Additionally, in 2010, Northwest began recycling glass and using the ground glass in landscape materials, concrete mix and other needs on the campus. In 2011, with guidance from Northwest’s Department of Agriculture, the University launched a composting program that uses food waste discarded at campus dining locations.

Most recently, Northwest’s recycling efforts resulted from the University reducing the amount of waste it sends to local landfills from 705 in 2011 to 594 tons last year.

“We’re a leader in terms of what we do here on campus and have been since the days of Dr. Owens,” University President Dr. John Jasinski said during Monday’s Earth Week kickoff event. “We should think about every day being Earth Day at Northwest, not just April 22.”

A complete listing of Earth Day-related activities at Northwest appears below.

Monday, April 15





Tuesday, April 16


Wednesday, April 17


Thursday, April 18

Friday, April 19

Monday, April 22 – Earth Day



For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468