What does Earth Day mean to Maryville College Students?

First organized in 1970, Earth Day has been celebrated every year on April 22 for the purpose of nurturing global environmental awareness and appreciation. To this day, the first Earth Day holds the record for being the single largest worldwide protest ever. Monetary and political support gathered during Earth Day has contributed to climate research, environmental policy change, and environmental protection. So, what do Maryville College students think about Earth Day?

“Honestly, I remember in elementary school we would take state standardized testing on Earth Day,” said MC senior Claire Willenbrink. “I always thought it was ironic that the school was using so much paper on a day devoted to environmental awareness. I now view it as a day of recognition, reminding us what we need to be doing every single day of the year instead of just on one day.”

In fact, elementary school memories of Earth Day aren’t uncommon. 

“In elementary school all the students were given little saplings to take home and plant on Earth Day,” said sophomore Lily Winebarger. “So, every Earth Day my family and I would plant the sapling in our backyard. Those are fond memories. When I came to Maryville College and became more environmentally conscious, I grew to understand the real-world value of Earth Day.”

Maryville College is proud of its dedication to environmental well-being. From Crawford house’s sustainable infrastructure to the campus wide “Fit. Green. Happy.” program, Maryville College takes pride in its environmental contributions. Are there any possible improvements that could be made to Maryville College’s campus that should be considered this Earth day?

“I believe we are a little outdated when it comes to campus amenities for example,” Willebrink said. “We have things like solar doc tables, and the recycling program, and Anderson’s renovation was very environmentally friendly, but some of the solar doc tables don’t really work. Also, I don’t believe that students are properly educated on the importance of recycling. I’d love to see more campus wide use of solar panels, or at least better working solar doc tables for instance.” 

It is clear that even on an environmentally progressive campus such as Maryville College there is always room for improvement. Devotion to ever-evolving environmental action is the foundational principle of Earth day. 

“Earth Day is an opportunity to celebrate our planet and treat it with care,” said freshman Emily Huffstetler. “It is important to remember that the Earth doesn’t only matter on Earth Day. We need to make sure that our celebration doesn’t overshadow the work we need to be doing every day.”  

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