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April 22, 2020

Events | History | Promo kit

This year's Earth Day event on April 22, 2020 will mark an important milestone. Fifty years before, the University of Washington participated in the very first Earth Day. Since that first event in 1970, students, faculty and staff have pushed to advance sustainability at the UW and beyond.

The UW will recognize the 50th Earth Day throughout the 2019-2020 academic year with events hosted by a variety of departments, student groups and other organizations. The celebrations will include UW Sustainability's EarthFest on Red Square on April 22, 2020. This central Earth Day event will feature groups from across the UW, showcasing their efforts and engaging attendees with a variety of perspectives on sustainability. Information on how groups can participate in EarthFest will be released in January 2020.

The College of the Environment's office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is spearheading Earth Day 2020: Dialogue & Collaboration. This series of collaborative events between the College of the Environment and other UW groups will explore themes around environmental/climate justice or effects of climate change in differ- ent communities as a way to build engagement towards Earth Day 2020. For more information on this program, contact Isabel Carrera Zamanillo, micz@uw.edu.

Check this page throughout the year for updated information, event calendars, volunteer opportunities and more. Email sustainability@uw.edu to submit events for inclusion on the Earth Day 2020 calendar or for more information about the Earth Day 2020 efforts.

Featured events

Accommodations to Accessibility

From Accommodations to Accessibility

October 9
Exploring the insights of Universal Design to make our campus more inclusive and accessible.
Celebrating Diversity in Sustainable Food Systems

Celebrating Diversity in Sustainable Food Systems

October 11
Experience different cuisines and locally-sourced food.
Sustainability Fair

Sustainability Fair

Oct. 16
Celebrate sustainability efforts across the UW with dozens of departments, student groups and other organizations.


Earth Day history

In 1969, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson proposed the first celebration of Earth Day as "a day for serious discussion of environmental problems." In response, more than 20 million American activists, scholars, students, and citizens across the country came together on April 22, 1970 to celebrate and reflect on the need for an environmental reform. This day is considered by many the beginning of the modern environmental movement.

"Let every individual and institution now think and act as a responsible trustee of Earth, seeking choices in ecology, economics and ethics that will provide a sustainable future, eliminate pollution, poverty and violence, awaken the wonder of life and foster peaceful progress in the human adventure." - John McConnell, Founder of Earth Day

Watch a PBS video documenting that day.

Full calendar: