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Earth Day Celebration is April 20

Water, water everywhere, and yes, you can still have a drink.

Sustaining water resources will be the featured theme at this year’s UMass Chan Medical School Earth Day campus celebration set for Thursday, April 20 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the school lobbies.

The popular annual event will once again have a mix of companies and organizations focused on sustainable products and practices. Displays will include products from local farmers, food and craft vendors, electric/hybrid vehicles and energy efficiency products and services.

As an incentive to spend extra time at the event this year, the first 250 people who visit the UMass Chan Growing Green table and fill up their Earth Day card by visiting six other displays that day will receive a succulent plant.

“Our sustainability committee decided to give out succulents this year because of our focus on water conservation,” said Suzanne Wood, sustainability and energy manager at UMass Chan. “Succulents are adapted to store water and survive in dry conditions. Water is a vital resource for a sustainable community and sometimes we don’t focus on it as much as energy or greenhouse gases.”

Flowing along with the water theme, one of the new companies participating this year is the Great American Rain Barrel Company of Boston, which will raffle off a 60-gallon barrel designed to collect rainwater from the roof of a home or building and make it available for non-potable uses, like watering lawns and gardens.

Members of the educational, research and clinical communities on campus will also have an opportunity at Earth Day to become their department’s “Recycling Champion” to help encourage their colleagues to do their part when it comes to reducing the waste stream leaving the campus.

“All our efforts depend on members of our community voluntarily doing their part to help us reduce waste, save energy and conserve important resources like water. So, I encourage anyone who is passionate about sustainability to consider become a champion,” Wood said. “Just talk to the team at the Growing Green table.”