CHICAGO – April 22, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today marked the 40th annual celebration of Earth Day by taking part in “Ecojamapalooza” at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). The student-organized event features entertainment and educational displays and highlights the university’s sustainability initiatives.
“Today is Earth Day, which reminds us of the importance of getting young people excited about helping the environment and instilling a green way of thinking and acting,” said Governor Quinn. “An emphasis on environmental education in college can inspire young people to enter into green careers protecting our natural resources and developing new clean energy technologies, which will make Illinois a better place for us all to live.”
UIC has taken a number of steps to improve energy efficiency and reduce the school’s carbon footprint. Grant Hall and Lincoln Hall were both renovated to utilize geothermal wells and a geothermal heat pump that have significantly reduced energy use. Lincoln Hall also features solar panels to power the building with renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas. This summer, Douglas Hall will be renovated to utilize a geothermal system and solar panels.
The university has also expanded its recycling program, and the program now saves over 36,000 trees and more than $90,000 each year. UIC has installed green roofs, soy-based white roofs, native landscaping, and low-flow toilets and fixtures in an effort to reduce energy and water consumption.
“Ecojamapalooza” is organized by the Green Youth Movement, a student organization that works toward increasing environmental awareness and responsibility. The daylong event features speakers, music and a historical bike tour of the UIC campus.
Earlier this month, Governor Quinn declared the month of April “Earth Month” in Illinois. Governor Quinn serves as the chairman of the Great Lakes Commission, the Illinois River Coordinating Council and the Illinois Green Governments Coordinating Council. Governor Quinn has also signed numerous Executive Orders and statutes into law to ensure greater energy efficiency, use of renewable energy, and protection of Illinois’ land, air and water resources.
For more information about Governor Quinn’s sustainability initiatives, please visit www.Green.Illinois.gov.