Tuesday is Earth Day and the University of Virginia marked the occasion with a big expo held at Newcomb Hall.
The theme of the Earth Week Expo was "the challenge of change." Organizers say the goal was to showcase sustainability projects - focused on spreading knowledge and taking action.
UVA graduate student Alley Leach is part of the "footprint group," a team that has been working to develop environmental food labels.
“These labels try to show consumers the environmental impact of different food products to help them make decisions when they go to the grocery store, and these labels combine the carbon footprint for greenhouse gases, nitrogen footprint for nutrient pollution and water footprint for water conservation into a single label,” said Leach.
Leach and her teammates spent their time at the Earth Week Expo trying to get feedback on a label design.
“We're trying to communicate all of the environmental impacts in one single label that would be easy to understand,” said Leach.
The group was one of dozens of exhibits set up around Newcomb Hall to spotlight ways people can make our planet more sustainable.
“I think after the winter that we all endured, we all are wondering about the changes that our planet is facing. So the Earth Week events and today's Earth Week Expo look at the challenges facing our planet and offer ideas on how we can best address those challenges,” said Ida Lee Wooten, director of community relations for UVA.
Students and staff hope their personal projects can help improve the university's impact on the environment as a whole.
“It's also important to think about what type of impact we're having on the environment as a university,” said Leach.
People got a free lunch featuring locally sourced items as part of the expo. The final Earth Week event is set to take place Thursday afternoon and is a global water games initiative.