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Black + Gold = Green

Green is the new black and gold on Thursday, February 5, as both the National Teach-in on Global Warming and Recyclemania kick off at The Commons Main Street. Both events are geared toward educating the campus and area communities about global warming and the importance of recycling through a series of activities, panel discussions, art displays and more.

Through its participation in the National Teach-in on Global Warming, UMBC joins more than 600 colleges and universities nationwide to discuss and reiterate the importance of finding solutions to global warming. UMBC will showcase its sustainability initiative and celebrate what the Climate Change Task Force (CCTF) has done so far in order to fulfill the climate commitment President Freeman Hrabowski signed in 2007.

The day’s events include a fair of local green businesses, government agencies and climate action groups at The Commons Main Street; sustainability performing and visual arts works and films; campus-wide open classes on global warming across disciplines; and a panel discussion on action and legislation to avert climate change. On the panel will be Wayne Gilchrest, former Maryland congressman and co-chair of the Climate Change Caucus; Sarah Zaleski, coordinator of the Baltimore City Office of Sustainabilty; and Donald Boesch, professor of marine science and president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) and Chairman of the Maryland Governor’s Climate Change Commission.

“UMBC students, faculty and staff have a unique opportunity to take part in the National Teach-in on global warming and learn about the challenges we face and about the policies we need to implement on campus and at all levels of government,” said Virginia McConnell, professor of economics and co-chair of the CCTF.

Alongside the Teach-in will also be the start of UMBC’s annual Recyclemania, a ten-week recycling competition in which schools nationwide collect and record the weight of products about to be recycled. Although the official kick-off is February 5, a two-week trial period began for UMBC and other colleges and universities on Sunday, January 18, in order to get accustomed with collecting and reporting.

2009 marks the third year in which UMBC has participated alongside more than 400 schools nationwide in Recyclemania, capturing several second-place awards in various categories in 2008. Faculty and staff are encouraged to participate, and students will have opportunities to participate in various recycling based activities on February 5 at The Commons. Free T-shirts and more information on recycling also will be handed out. Students are invited to bring recyclable materials to the event for collection.

“I’d like to see more people recycle on campus and help educate others about recyclable materials,” said Donna Anderson, manager of landscape and grounds. “Wherever there’s a recycling bin, please use it. And if there isn’t, let Facilities Management know, and there will be one there in the future.”

The Teach-in kicks off at 11 a.m. at Main Street in The Commons, and activities will continue throughout the day. For more information, visit the sustainability website at www.umbc.edu/sustainability. A link at the top of the page will include a full listing of events.

For more information about Recyclemania, visit www.recyclemania.org/ or contact Donna Anderson at dleak@umbc.edu.

(1/27/09)