April 22 was Earth Day. Earth Day came into existence on April 22, 1970 in an effort to bring attention to the Earth and the environment and their importance. On April 22, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute celebrated Earth Day with EarthFest. EarthFest is an annual event, hosted by EcoLogic, RPI’s oldest environmental club, in which a large number of on-campus sustainability clubs and organizations (and some non-sustainability organizations) come together to raise awareness about what they do and the importance of the environment.
Some of the on campus organizations that attended were: Engineers for a Sustainable World Engineers Without Borders, Green Greeks, Habitat for Humanity, Hey Red, Go Green, Rensselaer Christian Association, Student Sustainability Task Force, Terra Café, and Vasudha. In addition to these on-campus organizations, a couple of Troy community organizations, Troy Compost and Troy Bike Rescue, also came to talk about what their organizations do in the local community.
Earth Day and EarthFest are a celebration of the Earth that hopefully they help spread awareness about the importance of the earth and the environment. As college students, the environment should be very important to us. We are going to be depending on the environment to provide us with the resources we need to survive and support are lifestyle for many decades to come. Right now, many activities that mankind engages in our damaging our environment. There are many things that we must change about how we, as a global society, operate if we expect to continue to have the standards of living that we currently have. The solutions to these problems come in many forms but many will have to come from technological solutions. RPI is the oldest technological research university, and as such it ought to have a significant role in developing technological solutions to the environmental crises such as climate change. This goes along with RPI’s motto of “Why not change the world?” EarthFest was supposed to be a fun, more lighthearted way to educate people and raise awareness about the environmental issues we have and the various solutions, both locally and globally, that some groups are trying to implement. However, the true nature of the environmental crisis is far from lighthearted they are some of the most pressing and dangerous issues we face and it will take a significant amount of effort and focus to address this issue. It is, however, something that RPI is well situated to help address and it is something we can address in a variety of ways. I strongly encourage my fellow students to take a look at their skills and see where they can help address these environmental issues. I encourage you to take a look at some of the on-campus environmental organizations that I mentioned earlier and see where you can get involved and what you can do to help. This will not only help RPI and the world, but will also help you learn and grow.