SAMMI DYSON | NEWS CORRESPONDENT
Friday, April 22 was Earth Day, and the world joined in celebrating the protection of the environment. Earth Day was first observed in 1970 in the United States, but now nearly 150 nations participate as well. It was created to demonstrate the importance of taking care of the planet and assisting in the protection of the environment as much as possible.
St. Norbert College joined in on this celebration with an “Earth Day Extravaganza” at Ruth’s Marketplace in Michels Commons, partnering with the SNC Garden to have tables and information during lunch that day. The garden sells the food they grow to SNC Dining. According to Melissa DaPra, Manager of Ruth’s Marketplace, they purchased over 800 dollars’ worth of vegetables from the garden last year, which is about half of what the garden grew.
“The rest was donated to local food pantries as part of their philanthropy,” she said. They also partner with the Garden Club to host the Harvest Dinner every year in the fall.
At the Earth Day event, there was a table asking students to pledge to clean their plates when they walked in to get lunch. If they did so, they got to write their name on one of the leaves of the tree painted at the entrance to the Ruth’s Marketplace when they were done, to show that they had worked to eliminate food waste.
Signs throughout the area talked about food wastage and ways to avoid it as much as possible. These signs encouraged students to only choose what they knew they would eat.
In addition to the signs and the tree, there were also other tables presenting information from the Garden and Environmental Clubs. These included things like conservation and paper use, among other energy-saving and environment protecting ideas. There was also a table where students could make delicious dirt cup desserts with chocolate pudding, Oreos and gummy worms.
The Earth Day event hosted by Ruth’s Marketplace and SNC organizations emphasized why protecting our environment is so crucial, not just here on campus, but all around the world.