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EARTH DAY

Photo Courtesy of WOWT

Charlotte Reilly
CONTRIBUTOR

Earth Month at the University of Nebraska at Omaha will be filled with activities that teach students how to live sustainably.

The April events range from learning how to make homemade lip balm to using a bike blender to demonstrating how much energy appliances use.

“I view sustainability as a mindset,” said Sarah Burke, the UNO sustainability coordinator. “It’s
changing our behavior on how we live our lives. We are no longer just looking at what will better me, but instead what will better me, my family, my friends, my city, my state and the world. Every decision impacts all of this.”

The UNO sustainability page provides students a list of available activities. Students can receive free homemade beeswax or vegan lip balm at the natural beauty and cleaning products demonstration table on April 18. They can also take home recipe cards for all products displayed.

“We have a habit of convenience, and we don’t know where our stuff comes from,” Burke said. “It’s reconnecting to knowing the ingredients and knowing how things are made.”

The College of Business Administration’s Green Team is hosting five events, including a clothing swap in the Mammal Hall Atrium on April 12 and 13. Student Government is also getting involved by hosting three events.

They are planting trees on Arbor Day, planting a pollinator garden and hosting a Dakota Access Pipeline Panel. “I think the panel will be an opportunity to hear the difference perspectives and engage the students with a dialogue,” sophomore Emma Franklin said. “A pipeline has more than just a political aspect to it.”

The Wellness Center is hosting outdoor exercise classes. Yoga on the Green is from 12 to 1 p.m. in the Pep Bowl on April 13. That night, Outdoor Zumba Glow is from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Pep Bowl.

Celebrating Earth Month instead of Earth Week has allowed more organizations to participate.

“There’s been groups that have always wanted to do events, but the week of Earth Week always falls right before Destress Fest and finals week,” Burke said. “Trying to book a space and get people’s attention during that time period is difficult. We decided to spread it out to the entire month to give groups a better chance of hosting events.”

Students who want to volunteer to work events can search SustainUno on MavSync. Burke encourages students who cannot volunteer to participate in events.

“All we want from this month is to make people understand the importance of sustainability and that it’s easy,” Burke said. “My goal is to provide a wide variety of activities that peaks every student’s interest. I want to give students a little spark, especially ones who question sustainability.”

More and more students are becoming advocates for sustainability, Burke said. When Burke first came to UNO, students only talked about food waste. Now, students are coming to her concerned about global warming, climate change and water accessibility.

“I believe that our world has limited resources,” Franklin said. “We need to be responsible and make the environment suitable for future generations. Being aware of sustainability issues is important because I think we sometimes take the Earth for granted.”

Living a sustainable lifestyle can seem daunting, but Burke reminds students that even a small change in habits can make a big impact.

“It does not have to be all or nothing,” Burke said. “You choose the path that you are comfortable going down. I don’t expect everyone to become a vegan who wears organic clothing and doesn’t drive. That’s a lifestyle that most people are not comfortable with living. Even if you are able to do one or a little bit of everything, you are leading to a better planet for all of us.”

Burke wants to make sure students will continue to be aware of sustainability even after Earth Month is over. “This is my month to advertise what sustainability is, but it’s always happening on campus,”Burke said. “Even if I’m not hosting an event, there is something that is still happening behind the scenes.”

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In celebration of Earth Day — which is April 22 — the University of Nebraska at Omaha will host several free giveaways, events and demonstrations throughout the week in support for environmental protection.

Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year. At UNO, the following events will kick off our campus celebration starting Monday…

MONDAY:

FREE WATER BOTTLE GIVEAWAY
Mammel Hall | 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Criss Library & PKI | 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Sponsors: UNO Student Government & Maverick Productions

FREE POTTED FLOWERS
MBSC Plaza
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Sponsors: UNO Student Government & UNO Sustainability Committee

KEEP OMAHA BEAUTIFUL CLEAN-UP
Community Engagement Center
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Sponsors: Office of Civic and Social Responsibility & UNO Student Government

To view the entire list of Earth Week at UNO events, click here or click on the below image.

earth-week-unomaha

The Earth Day Omaha celebration is from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Elmwood Park.

MAIN STAGE – MUSIC AND SPEAKERS

11 a.m.: Music by Michael Murphy, Native American Flute

11:30 a.m.: Speaker Stephen Osberg, Multimodal Planning

11:40 a.m.: Speaker Todd Swirczek, Sustainable Urban Planning

11:50 a.m.: Speaker Pell Duvall, OmahaBikes

Noon: Music by African Culture Connection

12:40 p.m.: Friend of the Environment Awards

1 p.m.: Music by Mariachi Las Cecilias

1:40 p.m.: Speaker Patrick Leahy, Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District

1:50 p.m.: Speaker Steve Rodie, UNO Environmental Studies and Director of Center for Urban Sustainability

2 p.m.: Performance by Felicia Webster, Spoken Word/Jazz

2:35 p.m.: Speaker Cecil Steward, Joslyn Institute

3 p.m.: Music by McCarthy Trenching, Alternative

3:40 p.m.: Speaker Larry Hopp, CU Energy Technology Program, Renewable & Sustainable Energy

4 p.m.: Music by Dirty River Ramblers, Bluegrass

4:40 p.m.: Speaker Kenneth Winston, Nebraska Sierra Club

4:55 p.m.: Speaker Don Wilhite, Applied Climate Science, UNL School of Natural Resources

5:10 p.m.: Music by DJEM, Jam Band

______

earth day 4

DEMONSTRATION TENT

11 a.m.: Rain Barrel Demonstration – Andy Szatko, City of Omaha Stormwater Management

11:30 a.m.: Tree Planting Demonstration – Nebraska Forest Service (located at NFS booth)

Noon: Home Efficiency: Seal your ductwork! – David Holtzclaw, Transduction Technologies and Kurtis Braymen, Thermal Energy Management

12:30 p.m.: Rain Garden Basics: Maximizing Rain at Your Home – Andy Szatko, City of Omaha Stormwater Management

1 p.m.: Electric Vehicles in Omaha – Sarah Murray, Metropolitan Community College (located at green vehicle area)

1:30 p.m.: Tree Planting Demonstration – Nebraska Forest Service (located at NFS booth)

2 p.m.: Tree Beauty and Benefits: Walking Tour – Steve Rodie, UNO Center for Urban Sustainability

2:30 p.m.: Composting Bins – Andy Harpenau, Soil Dynamics

3 p.m.: Home Efficiency: Seal your ductwork! – David Holtzclaw, Transduction Technologies and Kurtis Braymen, Thermal Energy Management

3:30 p.m.: Tree Planting Demonstration, Nebraska Forest Service (located at NFS booth)

4 p.m.: Solar Wireless Electric Location, because Clean Energy is SWEL – Eric Williams, Nebraskans for Solar

__________

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

11 a.m.: Omaha Tai Chi Association

Noon: Capoeira Angola

1 p.m.: Yoga Rocks the Park

2 p.m.: Raqs Awn Belly Dance

3 p.m.: Warrior Fitness

4 p.m.: Pranam Yoga Shala

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