Students celebrate Earth Day in the sun



Students grab a bite to eat at the UNI Earth Day Celebration on April 25 outside of Maucker Union.


With the smell of veggie burgers and s’mores in the air, the UNI Earth Day Celebration, hosted by the Recycling and Reuse Technology Transfer Center (RRTTC), brought student organizations and community members together for a day of Earth-friendly activities.

Held in the Northwest Courtyard of Maucker Union on Wednesday, April 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., a crowd of over 800 gathered to share in various educational and promotional programs centered around the environment.

In celebration of Earth Day, which was nationally recognized on Sunday, April 22, RRTTC, Green Project, Panther Plots, UNI Outdoors and other student organizations put up tables and arranged interactive educational opportunities that informed visitors about their group.

According to Gabbie Ruggiero, a senior philosophy and political science major who serves as co-chair of the student sustainability engagement committee, the Green Fund provided the means to hold a buffet-styled grill out, free of charge for those in attendance.

“We are really glad that people could come out and learn more about the environment and what the Green Fund is,” Ruggiero said.

Local businesses, including Cedar Falls Food-Op and Europa Cycle and Ski were also present at the fair.

From free bike tune-ups offered by Europa to give-away reusable mugs and water bottles from RRTTC, the fair was focused on spreading environmental awareness by offering sustainability information and tips.

Connor Latteyer, a junior history major, said he enjoyed the opportunity to learn about the environment and how to get involved on campus with green projects.

“The free food is honestly a really good plus, but I also enjoyed just going around to these really cool student org tables to listen to stuff about the environment and how we can help it,” Latteyer said.

Grabbing the interest of many visitors, the Office of Sustainability table provided information about their new bike-share program. Students can now check out bicycles from the Rod Library or rent them for a semester at a time.

At another table, UNI Panther Plots held an “Adopt a Plant” program. Supplying soil, various seedlings and name tags, people could plant seedlings in a small pot, then label it in order for members of Panther Plots to later plant it in the campus garden.

Ruggiero said that without the Green Fund, the event would not have been the same.

She urged students who were looking to secure funding for sustainability-oriented projects to apply.

“If you are unsure whether you should apply to the fund, we recommend that you do because we are willing to be really flexible,” Ruggiero said.

The UNI Earth Day Celebration is an annual event that students and members of the community can expect to see next April.