Top 10 ways to celebrate Earth Day

Activities in and around Charlottesville that let you pay your respects to Mother Nature


Maybe your busy finals studying schedule is too full to take a few hours off for some of these events, but you still want a natural Earth Day experience. Well I have the perfect solution for you — study in the gardens on the Lawn!

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

1. Academical Vintage

Need some cute new clothes and want to be environmentally friendly? Head down to the Academical Vintage event Friday from noon to 4 p.m. at 1515 University Ave. It’s a pop-up vintage market and clothing swap featuring local Charlottesville vendors. The event is a great way to learn more about sustainable fashion and supporting local businesses — and who doesn’t love new clothes?

2. Earth Day Meditation on the Lawn

With finals coming up, stress levels are rising among students, so take a breath and take a break on the Lawn. The meditation session is being held by the Contemplative Sciences Center on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. It’s a chance to connect with nature and reflect on your own mental health. They will focus on teaching ways to be sustainable in your everyday life. Plus there will be snacks and a raffle!

3. People’s Climate March

If you love the environment, funny signs and empowering chants, the People’s Climate March is the place for you. It will be April 29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Washington D.C., and the Virginia Student Environmental Coalition and Climate Action Society at the University are holding a Virginia Youth Contingent. You can meet up with other college students from Virginia to share your stories, passion and outrage about the environment. There will be transportation organized, so don’t worry first-years, you can go too.

4. Beta Bridge stream cleanup

Beta Bridge is a unique and creative spot on Grounds, but underneath is heaps upon heaps of trash. To fight this, join U.Va. Sustainability this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. for a Beta Bridge cleanup. Preserving the local Charlottesville ecosystem is important and even you, a very busy student, can find the time to help keep it clean. Well, as long as you have closed-toe shoes, that is.

5. Greens to Grounds

If you’ve ever been to a University dining hall, you know that sometimes the fruits and veggies leave a lot to be desired (Newcomb, all I’m asking is that my fruit be thawed before I eat it. Sincerely, a girl with sensitive teeth). So skip the dining hall and get your local produce from Greens to Grounds. This often under-utilized service puts together yummy produce and snack boxes for only $10 each. Most of their products can be eaten raw so there’s no cooking required, which is even better. Box pick-ups are at Mad Bowl on Fridays from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., so start taking advantage!

6. Spring chalking competition and activity

If you have five friends and / or creativity, Student Council's spring chalking competition is the perfect way for you to kick off your Earth Day festivities. The event is happening on the South Lawn from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., and all years are invited. Form a team and show off your chalking skills, whether they are amazing or not. If you’re not into the competition aspect, you are still welcome to chalk and enjoy being outside.

7. Starry Nights at Shenandoah

One of the best ways to really connect with nature is to go stargazing, especially in a wide open space without light pollution. If this sounds like fun to you, take the short drive down to Shenandoah National Park for James Madison University’s Starry Nights program this Friday. There will be a speaker at 7:30 p.m. and stargazing and constellation tours will start at 8:30 p.m. at Big Meadows. Go explore your national parks and the services they have to offer! This would also be a cute first date idea for you astronomy nerds.

8. March for Science

If you don’t have the time to go all the way to D.C., there is still a march that you can participate in. Cville Comm-UNI-ty is hosting a March for Science this Saturday from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the IX Art Park. The march aims to show support for scientists and science enthusiasts everywhere and express the importance of scientific research. You would be making Bill Nye proud.

9. Study in one of the Lawn gardens

Maybe your busy finals studying schedule is too full to take a few hours off for some of these events, but you still want a natural Earth Day experience. I have the perfect solution for you — study in the gardens on the Lawn! The beautiful designs of the gardens will take you back in history while the chirps of birds and squirrels create a lulling background soundtrack. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to ace that Comm final and have flowers growing out of your nose from your oneness with nature.

10. Wellness Walk

Now that spring has sprung, the flora on Grounds is in full bloom. Go appreciate all that the plants have to offer Friday April 28 at 4 p.m. and go on the Wellness Walk hosted by Green Grounds and Peer Health Educators. This is a great way to relieve stress, and there will be dogs! I repeat, there will be dogs!

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