Campus comes together to observe Earth Day

by Life Editor Monday Sanderson

Two UNA departments will work together to bring an Earth Day celebration to campus.

The Department of Communications and UNA’s Center for Sustainability will host UNA Earth Day April 17 – 20 at multiple locations.

For the past four years, the Department of Communications and the Outdoor Adventure Center have hosted an Earth Day, said Jeanne Baughman, administrative assistant for the department of communications.

The Center for Sustainability has celebrated Earth Day since 2006, said Amanda Coffman, associate professor of chemistry. “We’ve always had a day where we would have live music at the Memorial Amphitheater,” she said.

Baughman said this year students will have the opportunity to tour Bluewater Creek Farm and Florence Recycling, learn how to properly recycle, watch films relating to environmental subjects and listen to live music from professors and students.

“All students are welcome to come to all of the events,” Baughman said. “There will be free food and prizes throughout the week.”

The tour at Bluewater Creek Farm April 17 will be interesting because of the science involved in the farm, Coffman said.

“The science behind the farm is fascinating,” she said. “They are a sustainable, organic farm. Everything they grow is free of harmful chemicals.”

People who go on the tour to Florence Recycling April 20 will learn what they can recycle in Florence, Coffman said.

Students who are interested in joining either tour should email Coffman at [email protected]

Baughman said the films showing April 18 are part of the Southern Exposure Film Screening. This event raises awareness of Alabama’s natural resources. Filmmakers come from around the world to create films about Alabama.

“We will (have vocal musicians) and then show some films from students from the department,” she said. “For the rest of the evening, we will show the films from Southern Exposure.”

Baughman said they will end the night with a panel of environmental activists and lawmakers.

There will also be an Earth Day celebration for the campus April 19. This will provide students the chance to learn how to properly recycle and ask faculty questions regarding their concerns about sustainability and recycling on campus.

“We will be showing people how to recycle a pizza box,” Coffman said. “Earlier in the year when we had someone talk to the staff about recycling, some people were shocked about what was required. So, we wanted the campus to learn more about how they can help.”

Baughman said she hopes this year’s UNA Earth Day lives up to the memory of former Communications Professor Jason Flynn.

“He was so involved in the event last year,” she said. “He was very supportive, and he was there for the whole event. He worked so hard to make it a good one for us last year. Every time I look at the Earth Day logo we have, I think of him.”

Coffman said it is important for people to come to this event.

“It’s a chance to keep the community connected,” Coffman said. “Changing the culture is one thing. Changing the habit is another. If we can help members of the community recognize where they can get involved, then we have made a good start.”