St. Ambrose Earth Day Fest Promises to Be Bigger and Greener than Ever


"We are going big this year," said Biology Professor Amy Blair, PhD, of St. Ambrose University's Earth Day Fest. The event, hosted by the SAU Campus Sustainability Committee and Greenlife, is April 22, 11-2 p.m on the Rogalski Center Patio (Rogalski Ballroom in the event of rain).

Following the global Earth Day 2022 theme of "Invest in Our Planet," this year's St. Ambrose event is chock-full of activities to educate students, staff, faculty, and the general public on investing in environmental sustainability. 

"We are still adding even more to the day's schedule," said Blair, "but our big event will be the waste sort. Housekeeping collects all the garbage from the Rogalski Center and Wellness and Recreation Center, and we literally dump everything out to sort. It is quite an educational opportunity to show the campus their waste and how to improve our recycling.

Waste Sort

(Pictured) Last year's waste sort was a success, and they expect this year to be even better.

"In addition, we will have local businesses selling eco-friendly goods, sustainability pledge signings, community partners hosting education activities, various student club displays/booths, Farmers Market vendors, live music, and KALA-FM broadcasting."  

Environmental awareness has undoubtedly grown since the inception of Earth Day in 1970 when 20 million people first gathered to shine a spotlight on sustainability. However, as SAU senior and Greenlife member Carolyn Graham points out, "There's still a nearly endless list of things people can do to help the environment further."  

While she completes double-majors in PR & Strategic Communication and Multimedia Journalism, Graham has found time to pursue her personal education on environmental awareness. Her passion for making a difference shines through as she outlines some easy things for college students to do to enact environmental change.

  1. Reduce participation in fast fashion. Graham notes that "fast fashion comprises 10% of total global carbon emissions, while the average American throws away 81 pounds of clothing each year. This can be reduced by buying higher quality clothing, shopping thrift stores, and cultivating your closet."
  2. Reduce your single-use plastics. "Reducing the amount of plastic you use can be as simple as bringing a cup to the Beehive for your coffee and using reusable totes when shopping," she said.
  3. Join the sharing economy. "SAU is rolling out a new swap and trade Facebook group and planning an end-of-semester swap meet," she said, "and Greenlife hosts clothing swaps. In contrast, a newly purchased item has been manufactured, transported to a warehouse, then to a store, and then to your home, ultimately adding to carbon emissions.

  "Overall, I want students to know that even little changes can make a difference," Graham said. "No one expects you to be perfect at sustainability. At this point, the environment is an 'all-hands-on-deck' kind of situation."  

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