April 22 marks the 51st Earth Day and is an opportunity to reflect on the state of our environment. Ohio University is putting its saying “Every Day is Earth Day” into action by celebrating the whole month of April.
The OU Office of Sustainability marks its second virtual Earth Month by a calendar filled with online events and activities for every day of April. To help craft the calendar, OU collaborated with campus and community organizations, as well as local businesses.
The Post chatted with Sam Crowl, associate director of sustainability at OU, via email to talk about the virtual Earth Month celebration.
The Post: What kind of events are going on during your Virtual Earth Month? Is there one you are especially excited about?
Crowl: We have an April calendar with daily content that includes sustainability tips, activities, how-to videos, webinars, photos of spring arriving in Southeast Ohio and more. I am always excited for the announcement of our 2021 OHIO Sustainability Award winners at noon on Earth Day and the opportunity to highlight the incredible sustainability work being done on campus and in our local community.
TP: In your opinion, what is the importance of celebrating Earth Day?
C: Earth Day is an annual opportunity to specifically highlight the connections between people, the planet and economic prosperity, the triple-bottom-line of sustainability. The Office of Sustainability celebrates Earth Day Every Day, but April 22 provides a global platform to bring attention to important environmental issues, including climate change, and that attention can lead to individual behavior modification that supports a healthier planet.
TP: Are these events open to the Athens community or just OU?
C: We collaborate with local partners to celebrate events that welcome both campus and community members.
TP: How did the Office of Sustainability come up with a month’s worth of events?
C: While the office celebrates Earth Day Every Day throughout the year, we understand not everyone can be so involved. We do, however, believe that it is important to focus attention on environmental issues for more than a single day, so we began officially celebrating Earth Week and Earth Month to expand our outreach.
TP: What was the inspiration behind it?
C: The former director of Sustainability, Annie Laurie Cadmus, was the inspiration behind the campaign to celebrate Earth Day Every Day. Our student staff, including Events Coordinator Isabel Stitchick and Marketing and Social Media Coordinator Allison Shryock, have worked with the Climate and Sustainability Ambassadors to develop our Virtual Earth Month content.