With Earth Day just around the corner, it is important to remember how the annual event began. In 1970, Earth Day was officially founded as a means of educating the nation about environmental issues. This day was a result of the movement taking place in the 1960’s when authors were bringing to light the issue of pollution. Protests formed across the country to bring awareness to this issue and to others similar to it. The specific date was decided to be set on April 22nd in an attempt to get the most involvement from university campuses. Identifying environmental issues was crucial during this time period because there were no conservation or environmental protection policies in place. Allowing people to openly discuss pollution and chemical waste problems within society forced politicians to notice and take charge. This is how a senator, Gaylord Nelson, helped begin Earth Day.
At the time, talking to college students was the most effective way to get people to pay attention to new ideas or bring awareness to issues. Piggy-backing on this method, Gaylord Nelson selected a student president from Stanford University to be the national coordinator of the very first Earth Day. As the event rolled around, the nation shifted into an active, environmentally friendly mode which encouraged legislation to pass such as the Water Quality Improvement Act and the Clean Air Act.
Since then, the celebration of Earth Day has spread internationally, and this is largely because of the efforts of college campuses, Missouri S&T being one of them. The EcoMiners group in particular plays a large role in putting on Earth day for the S&T campus. The annual Earth Day event here on campus takes place on the Havener lawn where organizations and students can participate in the celebration through various booths and live entertainment. The EcoMiners, as an organization, brings awareness and advocates for healthy environmental practices. The organization also takes part in a national recycling competition called RecycleMania where universities compare recycling habits by weight percent of trash versus weight percent of recycled material gathered throughout specific campuses. EcoMiners have worked to unite students within their organization and throughout campus through the common goal of improving the earth one step at a time.
Student-life also has huge impact on the environment. It can be easy to forget that taking the extra step to help the earth is worth it when classes, organizations, and activities fill up a college routine. Setting up a recycling system within a residence is one way to live an environmentally friendly lifestyle as a student. By choosing to “be green” and environmentally friendly, college students can improve their direct surroundings, but also their university community.
On April 22, 2019, the Missouri Miners will be celebrating another Earth Day. It is an incredible opportunity to get involved in the greater Rolla community
through the common goal of a cleaner earth. With the help of EcoMiners, the campus will be well suited for an exciting celebration, further striving for the goals set forty-nine years ago by other college students. Although the actual day is a few weeks away, now is the perfect time to start preparing and adding in new ways to help improve the environment to a daily routine. This will ensure they become habits by the time Earth Day rolls around.