URI celebrates Earth Day on the Quad

April 22 is Earth Day around the world, but the University of Rhode Island celebrated it with Earth Day on the Quadrangle Wednesday, April 19.

Student Action for Sustainability hosts Earth Day on the Quad every year. Their president, Morgan Anthony, said it’s for the campus to see that there are people around that are concerned about the environment.

“Once things start to get green and people are outside more you start to see more of the impacts, I believe,” Anthony said. “Or if you are aware of things impacting the environment you become more aware of them. As long as we can get people to start noticing, that’s when people will start to make changes.”

Many different clubs, organizations and classes lined up on one of the main walkways on the quadrangle to inform students passing through on crucial issues.

Groups for NRS 223 Conservation of Populations and Ecosystems showed off their projects. One group there was for pollinators, as well as the Bee Club. They had an observation hive with bees inside, a hive for people to see how they are usually kept, a bee keeper’s uniform as well as honey and wildflowers.

“Earth day is a good way to raise awareness about a lot of endangered species that are facing trouble at this particular point in time with environmental hazards,” said Kate Marie Vasquez-Braun, a member of the class and the club.

Another group for that same class was there, their project was to reduce plastic use on campus. They went out and made it mandatory for employees at the campus store to ask if a customer wanted paper or plastic for their bag. The group also built a metal wire sculpture of a ram that they plan to fill with plastic found on campus. They hope to get it hung up somewhere on campus as a reminder to recycle and take care of the Earth.

Engineers for a Sustainable World was also there, fundraising to support their club projects. They just recently went to Guatemala to test water quality and are now working on a project building a water filtration system for the Dominican Republic. Gabby Aiello, a member of the club, said that Earth Day is to raise awareness.

“It’s awareness for conserving the natural resources that we abuse,” Aiello said.

There were many other groups, clubs and organizations there such as the 193 Degree Coffeehouse, showing off how they are sustainable in some of their practices such as composting and using paper straws and linguini as stirrers. There was also a demonstration at one of the booths on how acid rain affects the environment using chalk that has similar properties as limestone.

Students filtered up and down the line of booths, looking at all of the projects and ways to be sustainable.

Patrice Amour, senior nutrition and dietetics major, said that she thinks it is good to have a day where people clean up, think of and care for the environment.

“No one really does anymore,” she said. “I think it should be done year-round but it is good to have a day so people can recognize it as a day but people should take care of the Earth every day.”

“It’s a wonderful day. Every day should be Earth Day,” said Julie Bozzo, senior, and another participant to Earth Day on the Quadrangle.