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Go Green!

Go green this Earth Day

power plant

In celebration of Earth Day, the University of Rochester offers multiple ways to pay tribute to the environment.

Employees, faculty, and students alike are invited to get involved in order to help support the University community’s dedication to sustainability.  Show your commitment to sustainability this Earth Day by taking the Go Green Pledge.  Originally launched on Earth Day in 2009, the pledge provides tips for making ecofriendly changes in daily activities. Participants select the suggestions offered by the pledge that seem plausible to enact, thus promising to implement these improvements into their everyday routines. The pledge is an effective, easy way to inspire “greener” behaviors and is available to be taken anytime online at  As of April 1, 2015, 2,061 people have taken the pledge, including students, faculty, staff, and Rochester community visitors or friends.

This year, the Go Green Pledge has been revamped to include more everyday actions that can impact an environmental footprint, from food consumption, to waste reduction, community involvement and beyond. As an annual Earth Day tradition, University Facilities and Services promotes the pledge and encourages all to make the commitment. You can make a personal pledge to pitch in, turn off, conserve and re-evaluate your own personal daily habits. This year those who have already taken the pledge are invited to recommit to the pledge and add new items to their personal commitment list.

The celebration is underway among the student community. The student organization Grassroots hosted their annual EarthFest event on Saturday, April 18. The annual festival strives to promote ecofriendly behaviors and encourage student participation in green efforts. It encompasses music and dance entertainment, free food from local vendors, and tables from a variety of student group co-sponsors, including Engineers for a Sustainable WorldGlobal Water Brigades, and a Go Green Pledge table hosted by Facilities Team Green. The event serves as a great opportunity to gain information as well as contribute to sustainability on campus.  This year’s tree planting, another annual tradition, takes place on Wednesday, April 22 at 2:00 pm outside of Spurrier Gym. All are welcome to take part.

In addition, Grassroots is holding an Earth Challenge from April 15 to April 22, during which participants will receive a series of environmentally friendly challenges via email. The activities range in a variety of behaviors, for instance using a reusable water bottle, and participants are required to reply with a photograph of themselves fulfilling the task. Each time a participant completes the challenge, they are entered into a raffle with a chance to win a prize.

The Well-U sponsored Farmers Market offers a convenient connection to sustainable foods from local area farmers every Wednesday in the Flaum Atrium of the Medical Center from 3 to 6 pm, until October 28. There you will find samples, recipes, produce and baked goods, as well as general access to “fresh, local, and affordable food.”  By supporting local farmers, you can help prevent pollution from truck emissions, as the food’s travel is limited, and reduce the trash generated by packaging on food shipped from far away. On this Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22, the Go Green Pledge will be promoted at the Farmers Market to offer visitors the opportunity to sit down and take the pledge. For more information on the Farmers Market, visit

Whichever way you choose to celebrate Earth Day at the University of Rochester, you can improve sustainability both in your individual life and in our University community.

Happy Earth Day!

Written by Julie Elliot, Class of 2015


Read previous Go Green articles