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Learning how to live nearly off the grid, commute to work using little or no gasoline, and reduce the overall carbon foot print of daily activities are among the themes to be featured at UMass Medical School’s annual Earth Day celebration, set for Tuesday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the Medical School lobbies and the Faculty Conference Room.
“This is shaping up to be a great Earth Day on campus,” said Rebecca Chlapowski of the Auxiliary Services Department, who helps coordinate the Earth Day program. “There are several new exhibits this year, in addition to many of our most popular returning favorites, including the electronics recycling program, which was a major success last year.”
This year’s celebration will include displays from several companies that install solar panels on homes, using new financing models that reduce the upfront costs of installation. Transformations Inc., a Massachusetts company that builds “zero-energy” homes that produce as much electricity as they use over the course of the year, will be on campus to discuss the zero-energy communities they are building in the area.
Mass Save, which is an initiative sponsored by the utility companies in Massachusetts, will offer a range of incentive programs to help people reduce energy consumption at home. Once again, Techniart will be on site offering energy efficient lighting for sale, sponsored by National Grid.
Locally grown foods will be available to taste and buy, and several hybrid cars will be on display. A special exhibit called “Change the World” created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to promote the use of Energy Star-rated appliances at home will also be on display this year.
“We were very fortunate to be chosen by the EPA to host this interactive display for our Earth Day celebration,” said Melissa Lucas, sustainability and energy manager at UMMS. “A lot of what we want to do with our Growing Green effort is to help people make a difference both at home and at work, so this Energy Star education display is a great addition to our program.”
Following the success of last year’s electronics collection, which netted nearly 10,000 pounds of old items, Northeast Material Handling of Lowell will set up in the Pine Tree lot off South Road during the Earth Day celebration so members of the campus community can drop off those hard-to-dispose-of electronic items that may be piling up in their garages and basements.
A full list of Earth Day vendors, and the electronic items that will be accepted for recycling on Earth Day, is available at on the Growing Green website at Earth Day 2012. (Note: there will be a small fee, 35 cents per pound, for tube televisions, but all other items will be collected free of charge.)