U of M to celebrate Earth Day with demos, bike drawing and movie in the garden
By Greg Russell
What better way to celebrate Earth Day than in your own garden?
The University of Memphis will sponsor an all-day and into-the-evening Earth Day celebration
April 21 in the TIGUrS garden located adjacent to the FieldHouse. (Earth Day is April
22, but with the event falling on a Friday, the U of M is celebrating a day early).
“We will have three bands, booths from all kinds of organizations from on and off
campus, food and a movie in the evening,” said sustainability coordinator Amelia Mayahi.
Mayahi says exhibits will include hands-on instruction on how to make preserves and
soap, as well as a how-to-knit session. Yoga classes will also be offered, and the
U of M cycling club is coordinating a group ride. (Look for “Memphis Cycling” on Facebook.)
There will be a drawing for a bicycle and giveaways to people who bring a bag of recyclables
or a pair of unwanted shoes.
“The shoe collection is part of a new project we have started with a program called
Soles4Souls,” said Mayahi. “This is a charity out of Nashville that collects unwanted
shoes and gives them to victims of war or natural disasters all around the world.
All states are in competition of who can collect the first million pairs of shoes
and with the program originating in Tennessee, I believe we should be that first state.”
She said the shoes could be in any condition, from new and shiny to completely dirty
and unusable. “This program really captures the spirit of reduce, reuse, recycle.”
Mayahi says the celebration will be the first “zero waste” event in the U of M’s history.
“Everything at the event will be able to be reused or will be biodegradable,” she
said. “Even the plates for food will be Frisbees. Nothing will go to waste.”
Mayahi says the movie will be a documentary on sustainability and will be shown later
in the evening.
Earth Day is meant to inspire awareness and appreciation of the Earth’s natural environment,
and is celebrated in more than 175 countries. It was founded in 1970 by U.S. Senator
Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin as a way to teach environmental practices.
April 22 corresponds to the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and of
autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. In 2009, the United Nations designated April 22
as International Mother Earth Day.
Watch for more details on the U of M event as they become available.