Colleges That Celebrate Earth Day

Monday, April 22, 2013

These Campuses Hold Special Events to Celebrate Going Green

Earth DayEarth Day inspires students and schools to take initiative and help the environment. Some schools use Earth Day as a time to spread awareness and aid the effort to go green by hosting week-long events, fairs, and fundraisers.

Here are some of the best colleges for Earth Day fun!


Otterbein University, Westerville, OH

Every Earth Day, Otterbein students, faculty, and alumni participate in the schools Community Service Plunge. Hundreds of volunteers partner with 25 organizations in the Columbus area to assist with community gardens, outdoor landscaping projects, and other restorative initiatives to serve local schools and non-profits. Otterbein is dedicated to community service projects throughout the year with their service learning programs and ongoing volunteer opportunities.

Otterbein is a private liberal arts college associated with the United Methodist Church. About 40% of students participate in Greek life, which is unique at Otterbein in that 12 of their sororities and fraternities are local, meaning they only exist at Otterbein. Otterbein’s small class sizes allow for highly individualized programs of study and optimal one-on-one attention from professors.


University of Rochester, Rochester, NY

Rochester has special events the week leading up to Earth Day to celebrate the holiday. A no-waste dinner, “green” open mic night, and a festival on Earth Day all promote environmentally friendly living and sustainability. Students also volunteer by gardening, cleaning up the Genesee riverbank, and planting trees on campus.

The University of Rochester is a private university with a heavy concentration on research. The Rochester Curriculum does not require undergraduate students to take courses in any particular subject outside of their majors as long as courses are taken in natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences along with the writing pre-requisite. Rochester is home to the country’s first education program in optics, and to the second most powerful fusion laser in the world.


Sewanee-University of the South, Sewanee, TN

Each year, Sewanee hosts Earth Week to commemorate Earth Day. Events include film screenings, special lectures, cleanup projects, and shows. Their environmental art show allows students to submit projects made entirely out of reused or recycled materials.

Sewanee is a private liberal arts university located atop Cumberland Plateau between Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee. Students refer to campus as “The Domain” or “The Mountain,” and the school sits on 13,000 acres where students engage in a variety of recreational activities including hiking, canoeing, and rock climbing. Sewanee offers students 36 majors, 32 minors, and 15 special programs, and 40% of students study abroad.


Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC

Wake Forest’s “13 Days of Celebrating the Earth” packs speakers, concerts, art shows, and other events into the two weeks surrounding Earth Day. Panels about sustainability and environmental issues, outdoor yoga, and events regarding food justice are available on campus daily, and students enjoy live music and locally-grown food. Beyond just Earth Day celebrations, Think Green Thursdays throughout the school year teach students about sustainability through interactive and fun events.

Wake Forest is a private university located outside Raleigh, North Carolina. Undergraduate students may take courses in Wake Forest College for arts and sciences, or in the school of business and accounting. Wake Forest athletic teams draw in large crowds, and a high percentage of students attend sporting events to cheer on the Demon Deacons.


Bellevue College, Bellevue, WA

Since 2000, Bellevue College Student Science Association (SSA), the BC Office of Sustainability, and the Sustainable Business Program have hosted Earth Week on campus the week leading up to Earth Day. Lectures, a stand-up comedian who specializes in economics and climate change, films, and a large farmer’s market are offered on campus. Additionally, professors are encouraged to incorporate the topic of climate change in their classrooms throughout the week.

Bellevue College, formerly a community college, began offering four-year degrees in 2007 in addition to their associate’s degrees and certificate programs. As an open-access institution, all applicants aged 18 years and older are accepted and many Bellevue classes are offered online. The college is located east of Lake Washington, near Seattle.


As sustainability, green living, and energy-reducing initiatives become increasingly important for schools to adopt, events raising awareness about issues related to the environment and climate change will become more prominent on campuses across the country. Schools don’t need to wait until Earth Day to educate their students and faculty, however, and most schools highlight green living as an ongoing project. Take today to think about how you can help the environment and check out what different colleges are doing to go green!

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