Earth Day was founded in 1970. U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin called for a nationwide demonstration in the spring of 1970 aimed to raise awareness of environmental issues. It worked. The first national Earth Day was April 22, 1970.
May and June are busy months for students. Many find themselves moving to new apartments or clearing out space by doing spring cleaning. This means that tons of perfectly good household items get bagged up and left in the trash rooms of the student housing. In the past, the Student Green Initiative organized a very successful “Lighten Up Your Move” donation drive with the help of the Housing Office, encouraging students to donate unwanted items ahead of their move.
Two drop off sites for used clothing were set up for ten days, during which many students left bags and bags of items. On the final day, we asked students to leave any other donations – books, toys, appliances, and small furniture. We filled an entire U-Haul van and carted everything down to the Salvation Army. These items are now finding new homes and being utilized for a second (or third) time by those in need. The items are not carted off immediately to a landfill. Students commented that there was an added benefit of not having all the extra stuff decorating the trash bins and sidewalks around campus during the moves.
The success of the “Lighten Up Your Move” event has led the Student Green Initiative to plan periodic donation drives, approximately six times per year, around specific items: eye-glass frames, shoes, electronics, ink cartridges, etc.