Earth Day Carnival promotes sustainability

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Green Campus Project celebrated Earth Day with their fourth annual Earth Day Carnival. The main purpose of the carnival was to “raise awareness about the Earth while having fun and celebrating with everyone. It’s a good chance for community building,” Green Campus Project member and freshman political science major Grant Disch said.

The carnival consisted of booths and attractions that were hosted by student and university organizations and local businesses. Some of the organizations and businesses involved were the Office of Sustainability, Sunflower Oil Company, Driftless Market, Momentum Bike Shop, Greek Life and Engineers Without Boarders.

“[The organizations and businesses hosted] lots of games, trivia, raffles, prizes including t-shirts, other give away goods, lots of fun upbeat music, a reading of The Lorax, brats and chips,” Green Campus Project president and sophomore environmental horticulture major Valerie McGoldrick said. All of the booths promoted sustainability by having activities or information about what their club does to curb climate change.

As mentioned, one of the booths was run by The Office of Sustainability here at UW-Platteville. The purpose of their booth was to raise awareness about how privileged we are. One of the facts that was highlighted at the booth was that the United States makes up only 5 percent of the world’s population, but we make 50 percent of the world’s solid waste.

“I attended because I like to see all the different booths and groups promoting Earth Day,” junior fine art major Janice Kuhn said. Kuhn said that one of her favorite things from the carnival was the plant seed she got to take home with her. She also stated that Earth Day is important because it helps raise awareness for the problems facing Earth.

It’s “connecting ourselves with this place we live,” geography professor Evan Larson said of Earth Day. Larson also stated the importance of Earth Day economically and socially on the Platteville area with agriculture being the main field of employment in the area and a social indicator. He talked about the importance of Earth Day because without the protection of our Earth, everything starts to collapse.

An additional purpose of the event was that the carnival helps sustain the Green Campus Project and their projects. These projects consist of UW-Platteville’s campus compost project and the campus garden. Apart from theee projects, the carnival helps show that Platteville cares about sustainability and the planet’s health.

Another way the Green Campus Project is raising awareness about sustainability is by going to the People’s Climate March in Madison on Earth Day. The Madison Climate March calls for “strong local leadership, for jobs that are healthy for the planet and strengthen communities, and for solutions to the climate crisis that are rooted in non-violence and racial, social and economic justice and peace.” Approximately 50 people from Platteville will be going with the Green Campus Project to the march.

According to the Green Campus Project’s Pioneerlink page, the “Green Campus Project is a student based organization founded on the philosophical and scientific evidence linking human activities with environmental impact”. One of the main objectives of the Green Campus Project is to “incorporate green philosophies and operational strategies that can reduce or eliminate UWP’s environmental impact.”