UA kicks off week-long Earth Day celebrations

Bethany Barnes

The UA is celebrating Earth Day all week long with eco-centered fun, lectures from UA environmental experts and opportunities for students to learn more about getting involved.

The first Earth Day took place in 1970 after Gaylord Nelson, the then-senator from Wisconsin and future governor, decided to bring about environmental change after seeing the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, Calif., according to earthday.org.

UA events kicked off on Saturday for UA Earth Day 2011 and will go until April 23.

“”There’s a lot of opportunities for them to learn about environmental issues and challenges and some of the solutions that are not only coming out of the U of A, but facing our region and our world,”” said Joe Abraham, director of the Office of Sustainability.

On the final day, Biosphere 2 will host a big Earth Day event and the first 50 students to show up at any of the Earth Day screenings in Gallagher Theater will win free tickets.

The UofA Bookstore will also be collecting electronic waste on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Connect by Hertz, the car sharing company on campus, has chosen the UA to be the first college campus to get the all-electric Nissan Leaf.

All students can enter to win the chance to drive the Leaf the day of its UA debut on Earth Day, April 22 by liking the Facebook page: facebook.com/uaearthday.

“”I hope that people recognize that the University of Arizona is a leading university in addressing our environmental challenges”” Abraham said. “”We have a lot to offer our students this week.””