Earth Day is officially celebrated on Sunday, but Youngstown State University plans to honor the environmental day throughout the week with several events.
Christman Dining Commons will host the “Lights Out At Lunch” event on Wednesday, as a part of YSU’s “Every Day is Earth Day” celebration.
The dining hall’s lights will be turned off during the lunch hour — from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. — to demonstrate energy savings.
“Each bulb burns 60 watts,” said Kim Bacchetti, who is in charge of marketing for YSU’s dining services. “For every hour the light is turned off, we save 22,000 watts.”
Bacchetti and Edward Krol, dining services’ executive chef, planned “Lights Out At Lunch.”
“We came up with ‘Lights Out’ as far as to conserve energy and reduce our carbon footprint,” Krol said.
Christman Dining Commons will also feature a vegan meal from 4 to 8 p.m.
“We are trying to get more people into vegan dining,” Krol said. “It’s a healthier alternative to other dining options.”
Pete’s Place plans to observe Earth Day with the “Weigh the Waste” event. The restaurant will display the amount of waste produced after one day of operation.
Freshman August Jarvis said she likes the idea of YSU’s Earth Day celebrations.
“It’s good to know the campus is being more concerned about the world and the environment,” Jarvis said.
Jarvis said she always tries to recycle as much as possible while at her home in Cleveland.
“I would try to keep the lights turned out as long as possible,” Jarvis said. “It conserves energy and money.”
Dan Kuzma, manager of YSU’s recycling program, said the program works year-round to make campus more Earth-friendly.
Additionally, Kuzma said he plans to make information accessible to students on Earth Day by setting up tables in Kilcawley Center in conjunction with the Youngstown Environmental Sustainability Society.
“I enjoy the grassroots aspect of Earth Day and the fact that many different organizations set up informational tables and displays,” Kuzma said. “It covers a wide range of topics related to the environment and society.”
According to Earthday.org, Earth Day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.
It was the idea of then U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin to create Earth Day in order to force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans demonstrated in streets and parks for a healthy, sustainable environment.
“Earth Day celebration will certainly leave an imprint on most of the students who stop to take information or ask questions,” Kuzma said. “It may lead to more involvement with the student environmental groups on campus and with the citywide environmental groups that are currently active, not just around Earth Day.”