The original Earth Day celebration was held in 1970 with the goal of making systematic changes in favor of environmental protection. According to EarthDay.org, Earth Day is celebrated today in 190 countries around the world with 1 billion participants each year. This April 22nd will mark the 52nd Earth Day celebration, and has been given the theme Invest in Our Planet by EarthDay.org.
The Earth Day movement has been student-focussed since the beginning. In fact, the date of April 22nd was chosen because it falls between spring break and final exams, allowing for maximum student participation. In the past decades, many schools and universities have created annual events to celebrate Earth Day. The University of Mississippi Office of Sustainability chose the week of April 22nd to celebrate the first-ever Green Week in 2009. Since then, the Office of Sustainability has partnered with community and campus organizations yearly to celebrate Green Week yearly with the mission statement: “Green Week strives to expand awareness of local and global environmental issues, increase participation in sustainable behaviors, and promote appreciation of our natural resources through educational and empowering programming. By involving a broad audience, Green Week endeavors to improve our collective conscience regarding better resource stewardship, environmental, and social sustainability.”
While Green Week 2021 was moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s will be back in person. Green Week 2022 will take place from Monday, April 18 to Friday, April 22.
Here is a brief overview of Green Week events:
- Our Green Week celebration will kick off on Monday, April 18 with the Office of Sustainability’s annual sustainability fair, a fun tabling event that brings together campus and community organizations to promote the various aspects of sustainability. The fair will include games, music, face painting, as well as plenty of opportunities to win prizes.
- On Tuesday, April 19 we will partner with UM Landscaping and the UM Green Fund to celebrate Arbor Day by planting cypress tree seedlings on campus.
- Green Week events on Wednesday, April 20 will start with a guided hike through Bailey’s Woods with Strawberry Plains Audubon Center and the UM Magnolia Grove Audubon Conservation Chapter in the morning. In the evening, we will host our first-ever “Upcycle-palooza” make-it, mend-it, donate-it upcycling event with Yoknapatawpha Art Council at the Powerhouse in Oxford.
- On Thursday, the Oxford Community Market will visit campus and host a farmers’ market on Business Row. Finally, Green Week will close with keynote speaker Dr. Laura Ogdon’s talk titled “The Silence and Sound of Bird Song: Remembering Rachel Carson on Earth Day,” hosted in partnership with the environmental studies minor.
Time and location details for these events, as well as more information about Green Week, can be found on our website.
Students, faculty, staff, and members of the Oxford community are welcome at all events. If you are interested in getting involved with Green Week and other Office of Sustainability events, fill out this form to join our Green Team GroupMe. To register to volunteer at these events, visit our Givepulse page.
-Story By OOS Green Week Manager, Delaney Smith