Michigan Tech and the Keweenaw Celebrate Earth Day
Today marks the 46th anniversary of Earth Day. It was established in 1970 by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, in response to massive oil spills and growing environmental hazards from industrial pollutants.
Nelson believed that, collectively, the voice of the people would be heard politically, regarding their growing concerns over air and water pollution. He called first for a national “environmental teach-in”, which eventually led to national recognition of environmental issues and what could be done about them. By the end of that year, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was formed and with it, the passage of the Clean Air Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.
Today, Earth Day is an international observance with more than 192 countries working together to find solutions for our world. From education in the schools on green solutions to Adopt a Highway programs, there is something each of us can do to join the campaign to protect the planet.
Earth day is honored throughout the world. In Japan, elementary students learn about topics such as global warming, “Teachers usually do not say what we should do,” Tomohiro Koike, a Michigan Tech international student, mathematics and business intelligence major explained. “It is the students choice which action to take or not.”
In Gwalior, India school children participate in planting trees. “We have a slogan competition in which you have to write your slogan that motivates others to keep the earth clean and green. It is based on the idea of fighting against global warming and deforestation,” said Michigan Tech international student Chetan Kumar Chaurasiya, a computer science and mathematics major.
“Taking part by volunteering helps keep our highway roadsides clean. It is a perfect way to celebrate and observe Earth Day” says, Jeff LaChapelle of Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Adopt A Highway Coordinator for Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga and Ontonagon counties.
The work of the volunteers with roadside clean-up help states both “aesthetically and financiall,” he said. LaChapelle feels that “people really care about the beauty of our roadsides and the health of our planet.” If anyone is interested organizing a group clean-up, LaChapelle asks them to contact him, or for more information on how you can help our earth visit the MDOT web site.
The Carnegie Museum, in Houghton, has many different displays and educational opportunities on various earth friendly topics. Chris Kennedy will present on recycling plastics, Melissa Davis on energy efficiency and Jay Green on “green burials.” The Copper Country Recycling Initiative will also be at the Carnegie Museum for an educational presentation. For more information visit their Facebook page.
Michigan Tech is presenting the Rozsa Center season’s final concert titled "Songs of the Earth," a musical presentation inspired by nature at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow (April 23). Visit the Rozsa web page for show times and ticket information.
“Every day is earth day for us at Sustainable Futures Institute” says David Shonnard (Chem Eng). “We never stop thinking about and taking action to raise awareness about the Earth, its ecosystems and developing solutions to sustain development that is compatible with the Earth’s life sustaining systems.