Giving and receiving for a more sustainable community is an underlying theme of UMass Medical School’s annual Earth Day celebration, set for Monday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the Medical School lobbies.
For this year’s celebration, which falls on Earth Day proper, members of the community are encouraged to bring in gently used clothing or household items made of fabric such as towels, sheets, blankets, curtains, etc. to donate to the Epilepsy Foundation of New England. A free electronics recycling collection will also take place on the Worcester campus on Earth Day.
“We’re looking forward to a great Earth Day, where people can not only contribute items, but also receive important information and buy products that will help them conserve energy and reduce their impact on the planet,” said Heather Strom, a research associate in the Department of Surgery and member of the UMMS Sustainability Committee that helps coordinate the Earth Day program.
Locally grown foods will be available to taste and buy, and several hybrid cars will be on display. Next Step Living will offer free or reduced-cost energy audits for people’s homes. Soda Stream will demonstrate their products for making carbonated beverages at home, thereby eliminating the need for disposable plastic bottles. A team from E.L. Harvey & Sons, the campus’s recycling and waste management vendor, will have information on a new recycling program that will be implemented on campus later this year. Plus, anyone who attends the Earth Day event and visits at least six of the displays can enter a free raffle to win a new bicycle.
“Earth Day has become a signature sustainability event for UMass Medical School and this year people will see several new and exciting displays,” said Melissa Lucas, sustainability and energy manager at UMMS. “And like last year, we’ll be encouraging people to sign up for our campus pledge, to do their part to help us achieve our energy reduction and sustainability goals.”
For the electronics collection, Northeast Material Handling of Lowell will set up in the Pine Tree lot off South Road so members of the campus community can drop off those hard-to-dispose-of electronic items that may be piling up in their garages or basements. Almost any device with a power cord will be accepted, except for tube televisions.
Clothing and other fabric donations for the Epilepsy Foundation will be collected in the Medical School lobby area. The foundation sells the donated materials to Savers, and other companies, with all the proceeds used to fund research and to help support families in New England living with epilepsy.