Happy Belated Earth Day

Elle Metz

Young Alumni Programs Manager

Yesterday was Earth Day. One of my coworkers told me this, but I didn’t want to post twice in one day. So today is honorary Earth Day on the blog. Hopefully, you were able to celebrate in some way – recycle, get outside for a walk, wear your green, make a list of ways to be more eco-friendly. I love Earth Day! It reminds me of elementary school when we would have an assembly and sing Earth Day-themed songs. I particularly loved these songs (which came with their own dances/hand motions). My favorite is probably “Ever Green, Ever Blue” by Raffi. Check it out. Seriously. (Bonus: check out these adorable kids singing it)

As Raffi tells us, “we can all do something.” And it’s true. Our generation should be acutely aware of the fact that the human race has and is continuing to damage our world. Since adolescence, we have learned about Global Warming and its adverse effects. We’ve also experienced them first-hand – colder, snowier winters, heat waves in summer, Hurricanes Katrina, Ivan and the recent Hurricane Sandy, the 2004 Tsunami. Thankfully, we have also witnessed a growing acceptance of green initiatives. Hybrid cars are more available and more popular. Recycling receptacles are more prevalent than trash cans in some places. And sustainable, organic food is widely desired.

  

It isn’t enough though. And Notre Dame knows this. I have long been proud of the campus-wide green initiatives. From the widely available recycling bins to Waste Free Wednesdays (an anti-food waste initiative started by Elizabeth Davis ’12). Last week, Notre Dame announced that the Global Adaptation Index (GAIN) would be moving to ND. GAIN “summarizes a country’s vulnerability to climate change” and is a “tool for disaster planning, infrastructure development and ecosystem management.” Billions of dollars have been pledged to help the world deal with climate change, but we aren’t always sure where to direct this money. GAIN helps decide the most necessary and important places to invest.

GAIN founding CEO Juan Jose Daboub notes that “Notre Dame is the best school to take GAIN closer to the people in need because of the University’s track record of putting the human being in the center of their actions.” Notre Dame professor David Lodge explains, “at Notre Dame, we want to be the researchers who help solve climate adaptation problems, rather than fiddling while people suffer.” Well, I couldn’t be more proud of our University and the part they are taking in helping the world adapt to climate change. Let’s do our part to combat it too! Commit an Act of Green – here are some ideas to live a more sustainable life and make the world better for us all.

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