Celebrate Earth Day 2021

Earth Day is April 22, and this year’s theme as set forth by EARTHDAY.ORG is Restore Our Earth. If you are looking for ways to get involved, we offer a few suggestions on how to honor the planet and contribute to Earth Day.

Repurpose Old Sneakers

The University first launched the Nike Reuse a Shoe collection on Earth Day 2009. After being on pause due to concerns regarding the pandemic, the collection is finally back! Through this program, sneakers are collected and transformed into Nike Grind materials, which become the base of new athletic surfaces.

On the River Campus, you can drop off shoes in designated bins in the main locker rooms of the Goergen Athletic Center. Those who don’t frequent the gym can drop off shoes at the front desk. At the Medical Center, you can drop off shoes at G-7528C by the yellow elevators (contact Lisa Rand, cell 585.694.6242).

Only sneakers/tennis shoes are accepted—this means that other shoes like cleats, boots, and sandals cannot be donated. Help spread the word with the University’s Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program posters.


In addition to a global climate summit to mark the day itself, EARTHDAY.ORG is calling for multiple days of action to help prepare for the global summit. The focus will be on climate literacy, environmental justice, and a broad range of youth-led climate-focused issues. Also offered is a list of 51 actions to restore the earth.

Online Earth Week Summit

The Green Team Academy has sponsored a free Online Earth Week Summit on April 17-24 where like-minded individuals can participate in two-hour workshops. Join a session or a daily Zoom happy hour. Register for free.


Ecochallenge.org encourages everyone to commemorate Earth Day by signing up for challenges that work toward the organization’s six shared change goals:

  • Sustainable living
  • Healthy food systems
  • Deep equity
  • Living water
  • Balanced climate
  • Mindful consumption

Farmer’s Almanac

The Farmer’s Almanac provides several activities that you can do in honor of Earth Day. Some examples include planting wildflowers and native plants, which will invite bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to your gardens. Check out this list for more activities and ideas.

Become a Green Rep

Are you a University of Rochester employee who cares about sustainability? Become a Green Rep! You’ll receive The Compost, a monthly e-newsletter which features tips, tools, and resources to help you and your co-workers go green. Visit the Green Reps webpage for more information about the Green Reps program and sign up to receive the Compost each month.

Pledge Your Support

The Go Green Pledge encourages people to adopt environmentally friendly behaviors. The pledge is available to anyone associated with the University of Rochester, including students, faculty or staff members, and even community members. Participants can select any number of actions, from simple things like turning off the lights when leaving a room, to taking public transportation at least once a week.


Grassroots is planning one in-person and one virtual event for this year’s annual student celebration.  On Saturday, April 24, there will be a t-shirt tie-dye event on the Wilson Quad from 1:00-5:00pm. During this time, a clothing exchange will also be held on the front porch of Wilson Commons. Then, on Sunday, April 25, there will be a virtual t-shirt upcycling event in which instructions will be given for some no-sew options to repurpose old t-shirts (time and zoom link TBD).




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