In many places around the world, April 22 is Earth Day, an international celebration of the environmental movement. This year at Harvard, Earth Day was celebrated throughout the month of April. Various initiatives across the campuses reached out to students, faculty, staff and community members to get involved in why the natural world and sustainability is important to them. People were asked to take photos, post tweets, and fill in the blanks on community pledge blackboards, which asked “For the Future of the Planet I will...”.

View Harvard's Earth Month Storify Page for a visual story of Earth Month at Harvard. 

These ongoing projects were punctuated with Earth Day events and fairs held throughout the month, at different campuses.  The Harvard Law School held their fair on a rainy day, moving the festivities to inside the new Wasserstein Hall. With live music, lots of free local and organic food, the Green Living Reps said they saw a great turnout in spite of the weather. Representatives from Divest Harvard, Quad Bikes, Harvard Vegan Living Society, Boston Organics, and many other student groups and local food venues made this event a great success.  

The college also held an Earth Day Fair, where hundreds of students showed up to play recycling basketball, participate in a clothing swap, and receive water bottles for completing a scavenger hunt. Here the undergraduate Resource Efficiency Program also announced the winners of the sustainability “Green Cup Challenge”, a competition between the undergraduate residential houses to be the most environmentally friendly. Many students who don’t normally cross paths with the environmental groups on campus came out to get in on the fun, and learned about the Harvard Community Garden, Students for a Just and Sustainable Future, and many more active student groups.

Earth Day fairs were not the only exciting events to happen this year for Earth Month. Mt. Trashmore, a pile of trash that demonstrates of how much trash Harvard generates in one day, made an appearance at both the college and at HBS. A pole also shows how much higher the pile could be if we weren’t recycling- usually reaching more than twice the height of the mountain of trash! Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health also hold Sustainability Fairs, showcasing local, organic products and sustainability initiatives in the Longwood Area.  

Throughout the year, there are countless other projects that promote environmentalism in the broader Harvard community. April’s celebrations highlight the dedication of Harvard to the natural world, and building a community committed to sustainability.