With a carnival, movie and other events, this year’s Earth Day festivities at UC Merced are shaping up to be bigger, more fun and more educational than ever.
UC Merced’s annual celebration of the 45-year-old day of observance is always a big deal on this green campus. But this year, the new Earth Day Planning Committee has built on the popular annual recycling-themed carnival and tabling event to include a movie night, a poetry slam, sustainability initiatives proposed by students and more.
Earth Day is traditionally observed on April 22, but UC Merced celebrates on the Thursday closest to the date, because the campus has its greatest average population on Thursdays.
The carnival and tabling event, featuring more than 25 organizations, takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday on Scholars Lane. That evening, everyone is invited to a free showing of the film “Wall-E,” with ice cream, at 7:30 p.m. in the Lakeview Dining Hall.
Also during the Earth Day observance, each freshman can get a free reusable keepsake water bottle emblazoned with “UC Merced Class of 2018” and “Refill, Not Landfill.” More than 150 bottles without “Class of 2018” on them will be given out as prizes during the day.
The Powersave Sustainability Poetry Slam and presentations of student proposals for sustainability initiatives are being held Friday.
The sustainability proposals were solicited through the UC Merced Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability, and features cash prizes and publication for the winning ideas.
The finalists present their ideas from 9:30 a.m. to noon in the Chancellor’s Conference Room (KL 232). They include Tarunraj Amuthan with the proposal “Bioelectrical Systems Efficiency,” Andrew John De Los Santos with “Sustainability Education,” Manmeet Sadhu presenting “Biodigester,” Nancy Rossi with “Bone Fertilizer,” Alfredo Enriquez with “Dining Utensils” and Kevin Quintanilla presenting “Vertical Farming.”
Earth Day events are paid for by the Associated Students of UC Merced and the Office of Student Life. More than 20 student volunteers will help staff the events.
At the carnival and tabling event, people can get information from such groups as the city of Merced; the Earth Club; falconer George Pena, who provides a natural alternative to bird removal from campus; Mercedians Against Fracking; Merced Irrigation District; the Pre-Pharmacy Club, which will help people learn how to properly dispose of medications so they don’t get into the groundwater; and many others.
UC Merced Sustainability’s table will allow people to plant herbs in containers, get information about Arbor Day and the Tree Campus USA program, and sign up to serve on the campus’s newly forming Tree Committee.
The UC Merced Recycles carnival features a recycled-art show and popular games like the Recycling Ring Toss, in which people must correctly answer recycling questions to earn rings to toss over objects and win prizes; the Crazy Compost, a labyrinth game; and Operation EWaste, in which people must carefully remove electronic items from a life-size “Operation” game board.
“It’s a great opportunity to educate people and have fun,” Foster said. “We also learn more about what we need to work on as we figure out where people lack information.”
For a complete listing of events, visit recycle.ucmerced.edu/earthday2015.
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