On Sunday, April 22, 2012 we will celebrate the 42nd annual Earth Day.
Earth Day was originally pioneered back in 1969 at a conference in San
Francisco. It developed into the first nationwide Earth Day on April
22, 1970. I was there at San Francisco State University for that
first Earth Day. More than 20 million people at 2,000 colleges and
universities participated throughout the United States. The 1960s had
become a very dynamic period for ecology in the US. It was the height
of the hippie and flower-child culture. The 1970′s brought the death of Jimi
Hendrix, the last Beatles album, and Simon and Garfunkel”s “Bridge Over
Troubled Water”. Protest was the order of the day, but saving the
planet was not the case. War raged in Vietnam and students opposed it.
Americans were burning through leaded gas and our planet’s resources
without regard for tomorrow. This was the perfect time to harness the
passion of the youth of the 70′s and turn attention to saving our
As we celebrate 42 years later, on Sunday, April 22, 2012 more than 500
million people will participate in 175 countries. I think back to the
passion of the 70s and wonder what happened? How have we fallen so far
behind in renewable energy? Thirty years ago there were solar panels on
the White House. Where are they now?
How has Wofford helped our planet? Let me count the ways. Wofford offers
a major in Environmental Studies. Many of the classes and labs for
this major take place off campus at the Goodall Enviromental Studies
Center at Glendale, which is an LEED certified facility. Spring is a
beautiful time out there and definitely worth a visit if you are on
campus. I am proud to say that my daughter, Kristyn, is an
Environmental Studies major and loves Glendale. Burwell is making
regular green changes. Styrofoam is being eliminated as recyclable and
biodegradable plates, cups and silverware become available. They offer
fair trade products as well as locally produced food. Gold, Black and
Green is an intellectual, operational and cultural movement for
environmental sustainability and carbon neutrality. It’s all about
reduce, reuse, recycle and making it second nature to everyone. It
takes time and money to become eco friendly in a community the size of
Wofford but I am excited to see the changes that have been made and the
commitment to the future. The Wofford website has been offering
environmental tips and there is a link for ideas for going green in the
dorm rooms. Let’s make Earth Day more than just one day. REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE.
What is YOUR carbon footprint?