School of Medicine Earth Day celebration April 19

At Earth Day festivities in 2011, Courtney Pike (left), research technician I in the Department of
Internal Medicine-Cardiovascular Division, and Liz Wright (center), a
graduate research assistant and a student in the MD/PhD program, talk to
Changguo Tang, PhD, a staff scientist in biochemistry and molecular
biophysics, about gardening and water conservation. This year’s festivities will be held April 19. (Credit: Robert Boston)

Have you ever wondered where the items you put in your office recycling bin actually go? What does it take to start an eco-friendly garden at home? What if you want to ride your bike to the medical center? Learn answers to these questions and more at Washington University School of Medicine’s Earth Day celebration April 19.

From 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., faculty, staff and students are encouraged to visit four booths in the Ellen S. Clark Hope Plaza outside of the BJC Institute for Health to learn about energy conservation and alternative energy; recycling; gardening and water conservation; and transportation and clean air. Each station will have information and giveaways or drawings.

At the recycling station, Garry Gilliam and Tammy Heet of Resource Management Recycling, the university’s recycling vendor, will be on hand to answer questions and explain what happens to recyclables once they leave the School of Medicine campus.

In addition, George “The Shoeman” and Julie Scaglione will collect gently worn shoes and old personal cell phones for the Shoeman Water Projects, a charity that collects shoes and cell phones that are then exported to retailers in the developing world. Funds generated from their sales provide well-drilling rigs, water purification systems and hand-pump-repair micro businesses that bring clean water to those without it.

At the energy conservation station, Jerry Pinkner, research lab manager in molecular microbiology, and Wanda Haertling, purchasing supervisor in the medical school facilities business office, will discuss how they have incorporated the use of solar energy in their homes. Representatives from Ameren Missouri and Laclede Gas Co. will be present to share energy efficiency tips.

The gardening and water conservation station will provide hands-on tips for home gardening. Volunteers will be available to talk about composting, watering devices, planting guides and more.

The transportation station will focus on biking as an alternative form of transportation and host a sign-up for April’s Car-Free Challenge. Big Shark Bicycle Co. will be on site offering bicycle tune-ups.

In case of rain, all of the stations will move to the link above the McDonnell Pediatrics Research Building atrium.

The day’s events are sponsored by the school’s Sustainability Action Team, which also will have reusable tote bags, water bottles and T-shirts for sale.

Information about activites on the Danforth Campus may be found here:

The first Earth Day, held April 22, 1970, motivated 20 million Americans to champion a healthy environment and is credited with launching the sustainability movement. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.