WKU Office of Sustainability hosts Earth Day celebration

M. Grace Stephens, Head Videographer

Alexandria Anderson, News reporter

The WKU Office of Sustainability hosted an Earth Day celebration on Friday, April 22 at Centennial Mall to celebrate Earth Day and how students can get involved.

The event featured a variety of vendors, tables from departments, organizations, Bowling Green groups and food trucks. Each table was themed around a connection to Earth Day, with these connections ranging from clean water initiatives to fashion sales of sustainable clothing.

“We’re just getting people in and spreading information about sustainability efforts on campus and in the community. It’s bringing people together to focus on these efforts,” Anna Schmidt, a marketing major and social media ambassador for the Office of Sustainability.

The celebration not only allowed students to learn more about Earth Day from campus groups but also to connect with groups in the Bowling Green community that may not have the chance to reach such a large student audience.

“We try to help people understand the impacts that their daily lives have on their watershed and their local waterways,” Matt Powell, environmental manager for the Keep It Clean, Bowling Green initiative said. “For Bowling Green and Warren County, that means that everything we leave behind gets washed away and goes through the storm drain to a cave and ultimately emerges in the Barren River. All of us can do little things in our daily lives to improve the quality of that storm water run off.”

Vendors and local businesses had the opportunity to sell at the event, which for many, provided access to show students the benefits of buying locally–which can help lessen the impact these industries have on the planet.

“There’s a lot of stigma around clothing and whatnot, and the amount of waste that I see whenever I go to a thrift store […] I see new things all the time, and it just doesn’t stop coming,” Megan Monroe, a 2020 WKU graduate who worked one of the clothing sale tables said. “I think it’s really important to just be able to pick out pieces that are from the 80s, 90s, 2000s, whatever it is, and everything repeats itself, so there’s no reason that we shouldn’t be repeating the actual physical clothing instead of just manufacturing styles from those times. Because you can literally just have the real thing going on.”

Earth Day has been celebrated since 1970 in the United States and was popularized and promoted by events and protests on college campuses. This long history is why this celebration was so important–it’s reminiscent of the foundation for the movement for environmental change that was built on college campuses.

News reporter Alexandria Anderson can be reached at [email protected]