The rain didn’t stop the 2019 WUSM Earth Day Festival from being a hit! On Thursday, April 18th, the WUSM community welcomed representatives from 20+ exhibitors from the St. Louis region. Because of the typical wet spring weather, the event was held inside the BJC Institute of Health lobby and 2nd-floor link.
Many new vendors were featured this year, including Mighty Cricket and the Saint Louis Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Medicine, among many other previous favorites. Visitors had opportunities to sample smoothies from Bon Appetit and the pedal-powered Smoothie Bike, salad with homemade dressing from MyWay to Health, and purchase locally grown food from the Farmer’s Market vendors.
Vendors were organized in thematic sections related to different aspects of green living. Some highlighted ways to commute without driving a single-occupant vehicle, while others raised awareness about appropriate ways to sort waste through recycling, composting, and prescription drop-offs. In addition, several WashU departments participated to showcase their sustainable practices – Mail & Receiving Services even debuted their newest film specifically for the Earth Day Festival.
Attendees also mobilized to bring their collection of soft plastic bags for proper recycling. In total, the event received the equivalent of seven big trash bags filled with soft plastics (grocery bags, bread bags, cling film, dry cleaning bags, newspaper sleeves, ice bags, ziplock & other re-sealable bags, bubble wrap, etc), an equivalent of 18 pounds of plastic that will be diverted from the landfills. In the future, you can also recycle soft plastics by bringing them to your local grocery store (Schnucks, Dierberg, etc.).
This event drew a crowd of 200+ and will continue to be one of the most dynamic sustainability events at the School of Medicine campus. Keep an eye out for the event next year; it typically takes place during the 3rd week of April to coincide with the actual Earth Day on April 22nd.