Earth Month COVID-19 Style

By Melanie Stewart

Like many things in 2020, Earth Month looked a little different this year.  Instead of a variety of in-person events to celebrate the Earth Day’s 50th anniversary  we, like everyone else, had to pare things back and find ways to do them while social distancing. 

Here’s a quick recap:

We had the Repurpose It contest again, and your creative colleagues did not disappoint!  If you missed the contest, you can still see the entries here.  There are a lot of great ideas that you use as inspiration to reuse.  Your winners are:

1st place, Merrilou Klug, bicycle wheel trellis, wins $25 gift certificate to The Company Store.

2nd place, Debi Griffith, old piano pieces holds jewelry, wins a green-thumb basket from Union Junktion ($25 value)

3rd place, Debbie Vidlak, table legs/window become new desk, wins $25 UNMC Bookstore gift certificate.

We hosted our first ever internet scavenger hunt and many of you took part!  We hope you had fun and learned something new.  There are lots of prize winners so we’ve contacted them directly and posted their names to the webpage so you can know too.

We also celebrated Arbor Day.  None of us were there to watch or help, but a Chinkapin Oak was planted in front of the Harold M. and Beverly Maurer Center for Public Health. This is the first Chinkapin on campus, which aids in biodiversity and disease protection.  Chinkapins like direct sun and adapts to soil types making this location a good fit—and replaces the tree that was hit by a car last year.  As it grows, it will provide a great amount of shade for people to enjoy with a great view of the plaza.

Last but not least, we fielded a team to take place in the online Earth Day Ecochallenge.  Our team did great—we finished 12th out of 818 national/international teams!  We also challenged UNO’s team and more than doubled them up on points…not that we’re bragging or anything.  The “little” actions taken by members of our team resulted in the savings of more than 3,000 gallons of water and 2,800 lbs of CO2, while reducing food waste, disposable plastic, and miles traveled by car, just to name a few.  Impressive all the way around!

The format for this Earth Month may not have been our preference, but it worked and we had a great time finding new ways adapt.

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