The Campus Environmental Committee and Ecoclub worked together to coordinate virtual activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, despite being away from Marlborough’s campus. Every lunch throughout Earth Week, there were sustainable activities and projects for students to participate in over Zoom.
The daily meetings ranged from teaching participants how to upcycle old t-shirts into dog toys and tote bags to viewing “Earth Day Live,” a three-day livestream commemorating Earth Week. CEC leader, Delaney ’20, hoped the activities would help teach and encourage students and faculty to be as environmentally-conscious as possible.
“We need to start incorporating plant-based and sustainable alternatives into our daily lives before climate change becomes an immediate pandemic similar to COVID-19,” Delaney said.
Dr. Elizabeth Vitanza held meetings with both the CEC and Ecoclub in order to bring the projects to life. She believes progress can be made in helping the environment within our own homes.
“I think that the pandemic is showing us that we [can] take the cars off of the road and not waste as much food at home,” Vitanza said. “There are lessons about sustainability during quarantine.”
Another aspect of the virtual Earth Week included recommendations and recipes for various plant-based meals. CEC and Ecoclub hope to work with Café M in future years to coordinate a full week of meatless meals.
“Not eating meat is an essential step to cutting our carbon footprints,” Delaney said. “[Our plan] allows students and faculty the opportunity to see how meals get created and that being an environmentalist can start by just eating one less meal with meat components.”
Ecoclub co-president and CEC member Gaby ’20 enjoyed the Earth Week activities and appreciated all of the hard work put in by members of both groups.
“It’s really cool how the [students] brought together so many experts, dynamic youth activists, artists and celebrity activists to rally for the health of the planet,” Gaby said. “Earth Day Live 2020 is informative, inclusive and incredibly empowering. I am so grateful to all of the youth activists that poured themselves into this.”