Earth Day was Sunday but a festival in honor of the occasion was held at East Tennessee State University Tuesday.
Campus organizations and departments and offices and even some local businesses with a desire to encourage good stewardship of the environment gathered in front of the school’s library from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Tyler Crosby, a sophomore studying sociology, was manning the student group Environmental Conservation Organization’s booth Tuesday. ECO was pushing for greater use of University Woods, a secluded section of trails located on the backside of campus off Southwest Avenue.
“There’s different walking trails, biking trails, we just installed a gazebo recently and we’re planning to turn that into an outdoor classroom,” Crosby said of University Woods.
Participants in the event set up with informational posters and brochures. ECO’s table had a map of University Woods. Others displayed facts about the environment. One table had a display that explained how one woman lived a year without generating waste.
Earth Day was established in 1970 as a way to encourage people to take an active role in caring for the environment.
Crosby said he joined ECO as a way to get involved.
“I just wanted to feel like I could make a difference, do some type of activism,” he said. “I believe that Earth Day is important so that more students around here can learn about the environment and the fact that we need to conserve it as much as possible and to do as many activities involving helping the environment as possible.”
Jessica Mould, who works at ETSU’s Center for Physical Activity, was stationed at a booth operated by the CPA.
She said the facility has incorporated in its design elements of sustainability that students can learn from.
The CPA has two new environmentally friendly treadmills that use no electricity, water stations that encourage people to refill their water bottles rather than to buy a new bottle of water, recycling bins, smart power strips that do not drain electricity and a bicycle renting program.
“We’re hoping that through our facility that students and even faculty and staff can recognize that every little bit helps,” Mould said.