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Earth Day at UAlbany: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

April 20, 2009

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Sustain 2009

For Earth Day, UAlbany is hosting Sustain 2009, which will include roundtable discussions and workshops on learning how to calculate individual carbon and water footprints and ways to reduce them, as well as a panel discussion on green jobs.

During UAlbany's Earth Day celebration on April 22, students, faculty and staff will be thinking of ways to reduce their own environmental footprint and find ways to lessen their individual impact.

Sophomore Katie Devlin, of Long Island, has been trying to do just that. She recycles everything, totes her water bottle from class to class, even buys bar soap instead of bottled because the packaging can be recycled more easily. Devlin understands that everyone has an impact on the environment, and she wants hers to be a positive one.

"In the end it's really up to the individual to decide what kind of impact they are going to have on our planet," said Devlin.

For Earth Day, UAlbany is hosting Sustain 2009, which will be highlighted by a keynote presentation by Alan Belensz of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Office of Climate Change. Belensz will discuss Climate Change and the New Energy Economy -- The Challenge of Our Generation. The presentation will be Webcast to other colleges and universities around the country.

Other activities will include roundtable discussions and workshops on learning how to calculate individual carbon and water footprints and ways to reduce them, as well as a panel discussion on green jobs.

"Each of us can make a difference," said Mary Ellen Mallia, director of Environmental Sustainability. "By learning more about our individual impact, we can significantly reduce the amount of pollution and waste we produce as a whole. It can start with something as simple as recycling a can of soda."

Throughout the day, a number of exhibitors will share environmental-friendly information and tips, including Interfaith Power & Light, Honest Weight Food Coop, Pine Bush Discovery Center, Old Songs, NYPIRG, UAlbany Students for Sustainability, Workforce Development Institute and the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation. Exhibits will be located in the Campus Center Fireside Lounge beginning at 9 a.m.

Started in 1970, Earth Day is designed encourage awareness, educate and celebrate the Earth's environment, as well as inspire people to reduce their impact on it. Celebrated around the globe, Earth Day is used as a time to celebrate gains made and create new visions to accelerate environmental progress.

UAlbany is committed to fostering and adopting an environment of sustainability. The University hosted a lecture by leading environmental activitst Denis Hayes, coordinator of the first Earth Day. UAlbany has also pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and become climate neutral by signing the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment and launched a "Change a Light" campaign by distributing compact fluorescent light bulbs in residence halls and hosted an inaugural electronic recycling collection.

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