As a part of the initiative to "Make Orange Green," Students Promoting Environmental Action in Knoxville (SPEAK) will be hosting campus Earth Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday in Circle Park.
Activities will include a recycled art contest, a cookout and the presentation of the 2013 Environmental Leadership Awards. The UT Bike Shop will also be offering free bike tune-ups and the Office of Sustainability will be passing out free T-shirts.
Hannah Slodounik, the sustainability outreach coordinator at the Office of Sustainability, hopes that students learn more about getting involved in environmentalism.
"The goal of campus Earth Day," Slodounik said, "is to celebrate Earth Day and raise awareness about sustainable living practices and environmental issues, focusing on what we can continue to do to Make Orange Green.
"We also want students to learn about the different organizations on campus that they can be involved in when it comes to being part of a group effort to Make Orange Green."
Slodounik said that students will learn about the small things they can do to become good stewards of their environment.
"Something as simple as using a reusable water bottle or riding a bike to Market Square rather than driving are small steps that make a big impact in reducing UT's footprint," she said.
Student organizations will have booths set up at the event, giving demonstrations on environmentally savvy practices. EnergyRight Solutions for Higher Education (ERSHE) will be in Circle Park to share their results from their energy audit of the Art and Architecture Building and Dunford Hall.
"By performing these audits, we have been able to isolate areas for energy efficiency improvements and have allowed us to make recommendations for future implementations," Chloe Ridings, an intern for ERSHE, said. "Friday we will have a table set up with information about the program and the results from the projects we have completed."
The junior in environmental studies added that ERSHE will be demonstrating how to preform the audit.
"We will also have a tool kit with us to show people how we performed our audits and how each tool is used," Ridings said. "We invite people to talk to us about what we have done here on campus and encourage people to join and continue our efforts."
Slodounik, also a member of CAC AmeriCorps, stated that the Environmental Leadership Awards are a key part of focusing on how to become more environmentally conscious on campus.
"The annual Environmental Leadership Awards are awards presented to UT students, faculty and staff who demonstrate outstanding environmental leadership on campus," she explained. "This year, an award is given to one undergraduate student, one faculty and one staff member. These award recipients were chosen out of a collection of strong nominations by staff and faculty of the Committee on the Campus Environment.
"The individual awards recognize each member of the campus community and their continuous effort to Make Orange Green through leadership on campus."
The undergraduate student award is given in memory of Ryan Edwards, who died after a Spring Break accident in 2012.
Edwards was a highly motivated and beloved employee of UT Recycling.