Celebrate the Earth

Credit: Ed Cohen, MassLive

Last week, the UMass Earth Day Festival brought together a diverse range of student groups including the UMass Food Recovery Network, New2U Reuse Tag Sale, the Student Farming Enterprise and the UMass Green Building Council for a day of activities, education, and fun!

This year was the 46th annual Earth Day Festival at UMass. It continues to be a demonstration of the strong sustainability culture that has taken shape on campus led by students passionate about protecting the natural environment and the people that depend upon it.

Of course, we were there too!

UMass Permaculture hosted a workshop at the festival to help people make their own free vermi-composting bins! Vermicomposting is a special type of composting which makes use of amazing red wiggler worms that break down food waste into a nutritious soil amendment. Worm bins are great for the winter months because they doesn’t rely on heat to break down the organic matter.

UMass Permaculture intern, Eric Cullen, demonstrates his knowledge of vermicomposting and how to build a worm bin. | Credit: Ed Cohen, MassLive

A special thank you to everyone who stopped by the UMass Dining Sustainability table and wrote ideas for how we can become more healthy, sustainable, and fair! We compiled every single comment and have plans to discuss them as a department. Here’s a sampling of some of the suggestions:

  • Grab & Go Tupperware rather than disposable containers
  • More plant-based, vegetarian, and vegan options
  • Bag-less tea in the DCs (to eliminate plastic packaging)
  • Equal Exchange bananas
  • Introduce Meatless Mondays in the DCs
  • Donate leftover food for nearby people in need
  • Better labeling for people with food allergies.
  • Meat that is antibiotic-free (not just chicken) and from humane sources
  • Develop hydroponic growing on campus

If you didn’t get a chance to write an idea or suggestion at the festival, we welcome you to write one in the comments below. See you at the festival next year