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Celebrating Earth Day

Students in Eco Reps performed trash audits as part of Lehigh's Earth Day celebration Friday afternoon on the UC lawn.

Today, Lehigh celebrates the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day with a series of events across campus as well as a speech by President Alice P. Gast on the upcoming sustainability plan for the campus.

Read President Gast's 2012 Earth Day Address.

So we asked several members of the Lehigh community what change they were already making, or are willing to make, to honor the earth this year. Here are some of their responses:

Lauren Zell ’12, environmental engineering major
Just a few weeks ago, I decided to become a vegetarian due to seeing Food Inc. as part of theEco-Reps program. I wanted to reduce my energy and water footprint on the earth and I think that being a vegetarian is a great way to do that and to be healthy!

Sharon Basso, associate vice provost, dean of students
When traveling, I try to book non-stop flights if possible because I read that the carbon footprint impact is reduced compared to flights with multiple stops.

Peggy Plympton, vice president for finance and administration
Right now, I'm in the process of replacing all my lightbulbs with CFLs (compact florescent lightbulbs). I've been composting at my house for the past few years, and of course will continue to do that, as well as doing all the electronics recycling that I can.

Diana Guerrero, M.B.A. graduate student
I don't use notebooks—I only use my computer to take all my notes. If I need a piece of paper to write, I would use paper from the recycle bins in the library, where there is usually lots of paper with at least one side blank. 

Laura Dobroski ’15
I am not going to bring a car to campus next year even though sophomores are allowed to do so.  I've gotten by just fine without one this year, so it would just lead to unnecessary gas consumption.

Julia Maserjian, digital library specialist
I'm trying to take all my yard waste to Bethlehem's compost center.

Joan Ramage Macdonald, associate professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences
I’ll collect homework electronically and annotate electronically. Saves a lot of paper.   And I give electronic quizzes. I’m also using 100 percent biofuel from restaurant vegetable oil for my home heat.

Jonathan Witt ’15, chemical engineering major
Recently after an energy competition hosted by the Eco Reps, I have developed a habit of using no lights but the emergency light in the bathroom, even when I shower. I also posted a reminder in my bathroom reminding my hall to turn the lights off before they leave.

Story by Jennifer Tucker

Posted on Friday, April 20, 2012

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