Earth Day opportunity for everyone to 'do their part'

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April 24, 2012, 7:21 pm
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(NECN: Kristen Doucet, Worcester, Mass.) - A Japanese ivory silk lilac tree now stands in front of the Lazare building on the UMass medical school campus.

Members of the Worcester Tree Initiative planted the tree on Tuesday in celebration of Earth Day.

“It's our goal to see that 30,000 trees are planted over the course of five years so in Worcester and in the surrounding areas, particularly areas affected by the Asian Longhorn Beetle,” said Mary Knittle.

The tree planting was just one of the many highlights of the seventh annual Earth Day event.

Over 40 organizations participate each year to help educate students, staff and the public about energy efficiency and sustainability.

“People go up to vendors and really talk to them and organizations that have the expertise to be able to educate them about what they can do both here at work and at home,” said Melissa Lucas, sustainability and energy manager at UMass medical school.

She said those who came were asked to take a pledge as part of a new campaign called “I’m Doing My Part.”

“They sign onto a website, they agree to recycle, to turn off their computers and lights when they leave their offices, it's a little reminder for them to do the right thing.”

The medical school is doing its part, as well.

In an effort to increase its sustainability, UMass medical school's chancellor Michael Collins said the school generates a lot of its own electricity through a power plant.

“If we don't take the responsibility to be sure that our environment is looked after then we're not going to be healthy as individuals and our earth isn't going to be as healthy as it could be,” he said.

Collins said it’s simple steps like turning your computer and lights off when not in use, and recycling that can have a big impact on campus.

“We have both individual and institutional responsibilities that we take very seriously at UMass and Earth Day gives us an opportunity to actually exercise those.”

Tags: Green, Worcester, campaign, Earth Day , UMass Medical School, Michael Collins, Kristen Doucet, i'm doing my part, mary knittle, melissa lucas
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