Michigan Earth Day 2021 Student Webinar - Protecting and Restoring Our Environment
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) hosted this 40-minute webinar for students around the state. EGLE Director, Liesl Eichler Clark, will host the event and provide an overview of the importance of Michigan's environment and the role we all play in protecting it. The webinar will highlight three significant topics of environmental importance that will be addressed by experts within EGLE:
- Climate Change - What is Michigan doing to address climate change? How can you help?
- Drinking water - How does water get to your house and how do we make sure it is safe to drink?
- Contaminated Property - How do we clean up contaminated sites in Michigan and make them usable again?
Please consider using this webinar to help your students learn more about Michigan's environment and the importance of protecting it for future generations.
What is the history of Earth Day?
Earth Day was a unified response to an environment in crisis - oil spills, smog, and rivers so polluted they caught fire.
On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans, 10% of the U.S. population at the time, took to the streets, college campuses, and hundreds of cities to protest environmental issues and demand change for our planet going forward. The goal of Earth Day is to raise awareness for climate change, protect the world's resources, and environment. Earth Day is one of the largest civic events that takes place throughout the world.
Learn how YOU can make a difference EVERY day in protecting Michigan's environment.
Consider the following, to create a more sustainable Michigan, and contribute to a healthier and cleaner planet:
- Participate in an Earth Day 2021 Clean Up!
- Return single-use bags to grocery stores for them to recycle.
- Recycle the plastics you no longer need or find additional uses for containers.
- Donate unwanted items of clothing instead of throwing them away.
- Plant trees and native wildflower seeds and put in a rain or butterfly garden.
- Eat more vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
- Ride a bike, take a hike, go canoeing, or kayaking.
For more ideas, check out our 51 ways to celebrate Earth Day.
Charlotte High Shool
The students at Charlotte High School have been recycling within the school for several years. Each year students look for ways to expand their recycling efforts and continue helping green living. This past year the students heard about a company, based out of Indiana, that supports schools or youth organizations in plastic caps and lids in to recycle them into plastic objects like benches, picnic tables, and trash bins.
2021 Environmental Service Award Competition Winners
Alcona Middle School
The Alcona Junior Honor Society has been participating in their Recycling Environmental Service Project since the fall of 2018 at Alcona Middle and High School. Middle school honor society members volunteer weekly to conduct paper, cardboard, plastic, and aluminum recycling for our entire middle and high school. The goals of our Recycling Environmental Service Project are to educate staff and students about the benefits of recycling; such as the following:
● Reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills
● Conserving natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals
● Preventing pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials
● Saving energy
The Earth Day Poster Contest included students in kindergarten through fifth grades. Posters were judged based on a theme that included plants, wildlife, or ecosystems native to Michigan. The artwork was drawn by hand or digitally created. Each school hosted its own contest and submitted the top three posters from each grade.
Environmental Service Award, schools were invited to nominate a student or group of students, to be recognized for completion of a school sanctioned, environment based project, that had tangible results. The project must have shown to provide a benefit for plants, wildlife, or ecosystems native to Michigan. Schools confirmed the validity of each project and outcome.
2020 Environmental Service Award Competition Winners
Students formed a group called Taking Environmental Action (TEA). Their goal was to reduce the number of plastic bottles thrown away at Kearsley Community Schools. TEA organized drives at both schools to promote a culture of recycling, first within their own school district, and eventually to affect change in the greater Flint community.
Emeline Hanna produced and narrated a film for the 2020 Thunder Bay International Film Festival Student Film Competition, titled "Microplastics: The Looming Crisis". The film details her team's microplastics discoveries and a need to change behavior to protect the Great Lakes.
EGLE's Earth Day Video Playlist
At the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development we continue to identify ways to celebrate Earth Day, we invite you to join in with your own sustainable activities.