A year-round practice at the University, sustainability was the focus of Rider’s Earth Day celebration on April 22.
Sean Ramsden

Students from the Sustainability Studies program quizzed Earth Day visitors about the most important elements of sustainability.

With spring in bloom things are starting to look particularly green. Of course, on Rider’s Lawrenceville campus, “green” is a year-round state of mind, a philosophy whereby sustainability and environmental responsibility are a full-time commitment.

This dedication was on display at Rider’s Earth Day celebration on Monday, April 22, with students flocking to the campus mall to enjoy an afternoon of environmentally friendly activities, games and presentations designed to advance Rider’s commitment to sustainability.

“It’s a great way to kick off the spring, while raising awareness about the earth and its resources,” said Melissa Greenberg, Rider’s sustainability manager, prior to the event. “We want people to turn their minds toward saving energy, so this is a fun, free event that’s meant to be educational.”

Rider’s Energy and Sustainability Steering Committee (ESSC) and Eco-Reps were stationed at a variety of stations where visitors could test their “green-knowledge” at the Green Wheel and win a prize, compete in a recycling relay game and a cow-milking contest, and learn about Rider’s efforts to reduce its impact on the environment. The Omicron Delta Kappa sorority trivia table featured eco-friendly prizes, while representatives of such organizations as the Sierra Club and AmeriCorp we also on hand to raise awareness about environmental issues such as hydraulic fracking and watershed contamination.  

Bob Marshall, assistant commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and Athena Sarafides, both of the NJDEP’s Office of Sustainability and Green Energy, toured Rider’s sustainable building projects on campus with Mike Reca, associate vice president Facilities and Auxiliary Services, and Dr. Laura Hyatt, associate dean of Sciences.

Marshall and Sarafides, an accredited professional in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Efficiency Design (LEED), also spent time with students at the Earth Day festivities after visiting the LEED-certified North Hall and West Village, as well as the PSE&G solar farm in the rear of the campus, among other sustainability-influenced projects.

“I was pleased to see you are doing some great things on campus,” Sarafides said. “Your students are wonderful – very passionate.”

Rider’s Earth Day celebration came just a week after the University was named one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada, according to The Princeton Review. The renowned education services company selected Rider for inclusion in the newly released, third annual edition of its free downloadable book, The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2013 Edition, which was released on April 17.