Earth Day and environmental events

Earth Week comes to a close this Friday with the 41st anniversary of Earth Day, and students who want to go environmental have numerous ways to celebrate.

Some eco-friendly events have already passed, such as a USF farmers market that sold herbs, green vegetables and other locally grown produce Tuesday.

Yet students can still celebrate by going to USF’s Botanical Gardens for the city’s Earth Day festivities, getting free drinks for the day and watching environmental documentaries.

The Oracle chooses the best ways for students to commemorate Earth Day.

On campus

The Botanical Gardens – already a very eco-friendly location with garden plots and vibrant plants – will host Tampa Bay’s 41st annual Earth Day celebration Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The event’s exhibitor booths include “green” T-shirt group HumanWear, Tampa coffee company Java Planet and reused-item art sellers Sweet Whimsy. It even has its own website –

USF’s Student Environmental Association will also attend the event, and host their own free show Friday with local folk musicians such as Victor Florence and Moor Hound.

The concert takes place at 8 p.m. in a field between the science buildings and the School of Music building, with the field adorned with Christmas lights.

Other events

There’s nothing that’s confining students to USF’s Tampa campus when looking for ways to celebrate Earth Day.

The Straz Center for the Performing Arts has offered special discounts before, including student-rush tickets for “Spamalot.”

Yet, they plan on going green Friday by offering half off “Shrek the Musical” tickets in exchange for recycled electronics.

USF’s St. Petersburg campus will host an “Earth Uprising!” environmental discussion at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, organized by the Uhuru Solidarity Movement, and a spoken word event on Earth Day at 6 p.m.


Possible culinary celebrations for Earth Day range from free beverages at chain restaurants for the environmentally conscious to free markets that boast food from local farmers.

Starbucks will give away a free coffee or tea to anyone who brings in a reusable travel mug, which could potentially provide students with an eco-conscious, caffeinated pick-me-up before finals week.

The environmentally friendly fast-food restaurant Evos has a similar drink deal – offering a free milkshake to customers during Earth Day in “support of organic family farmers,” according to its Facebook page.

Students who missed USF’s free market can pay a visit to Tampa Downtown Market on Earth Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 500 Franklin St., for musicians and Magnolia Farms produce.


Disneynature will release “African Cats” – a documentary about cheetahs and lions by “Earth” directors Alastair Fothergull and Keith Scholey – on Friday in conjunction with Earth Day.

Yet, some students may want a more substantial or age-appropriate environmental film than an overly cute, sappy story of savannah felines.

“American Experiences: Earth Days” traces the American environmental movement including the first Earth Day in 1970.

The involving documentary is currently streaming on Netflix Instant.

For a more fun offering, the animated sci-fi comedy “Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder” offers a surprisingly environmental tale of eco-feminists and primitive life preservation in between robot Bender’s wisecracks and Richard Nixon’s disembodied head.


Though Earth Day should probably involve sitting in the outdoors over sitting in front of a TV set, eco-conscious television viewing still has a place in the day’s schedule.

PBS proved its colors were green last year with extensive programming for Earth Day’s 40th anniversary.

Now it will premiere a 56-minute version of “Bag It,” which follows an everyman who gives up plastic bags with surprising results.

The holiday may also provide the perfect time to catch up on “Planet Earth,” a remarkable, five disc-DVD collection of nature footage spanning from bizarre underwater oddities to herds of elephants.

Students could even stretch so far as watching episodes of “Captain Planet” or the “30 Rock” episode “Greenzo,” where David Schimmer plays a hilariously stern environmental corporate mascot.