Every day is Earth Day with S.A.G.E.


S.A.G.E.’s table at the involvement fair. (September, 2021)

Briahna LeFave, Business & Technology Editor

Earth Day, a day that honors the start of the modern environmental movement. This day encourages people across the world to participate in activities that help the earth and promotes an eco-conscious message. Earth Day even finds its roots right here in Wisconsin as the holiday was founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson, an enthusiastic environmentalist who served two terms as Wisconsin’s Governor.

While this holiday often inspires people to slow down and think about how their behaviors impact the environment, it certainly isn’t enough to combat the extreme rate at which we exploit our planet. According to climate.gov March of 2022 was the fifth warmest March on record, and according to ourworldindata.org on a global scale, air pollution contributes to 11.65% of deaths. Statistics like these can be jarring and can make people feel anxious or even hopeless. However, getting educated and taking action can help alleviate the feeling of impending doom and redirect anxieties into impactful productivity. For the students at UWW the campus organization SAGE Students Allied for a Green Earth (SAGE) is there. SAGE Executive Director Ryan Jans explains that hope for improving our relationship with the earth is not lost, and that one person really can make a difference. 

“Contrary to what some may say, our planet is not past the point of no return. This is something that I truly, wholeheartedly believe; there is still time to make a positive change. To make this change, we all must be more eco-conscious year-round. To help we can use more carpools, to cut down on our carbon emissions, we can buy more environmentally friendly products, we can get involved with organizations that help facilitate this change” says Jans. “Taking these simple actions all year round will make a big difference!”

Jans describes SAGE’s primary goal as one that “raises environmental awareness” both on campus and in the Whitewater area. The group focuses on environmental education and activism and hosts a variety of activities and events promoting eco-friendly practices. SAGE member Rylan Grygny notes a few upcoming events prospective members can look forward to.

“SAGE has some exciting events coming up! We are doing a trash pick up and cookout with the UW Dems club. This coming Wednesday we are doing tie dye and the following week we are coloring and hanging out as a club,” says Grygny. 

In the past, SAGE has gone on group hikes, helped with the campus garden, hosted earth-related movie nights followed up with discussions, and even installed beehives near our campus nature reserve. These are only a few examples of the many ways this inspiring student org encourages students to remember that while Earth Day is officially April 22nd, every other day is still an opportunity to be an environmental ally and reduce the damaging demands we put on our planet. By becoming a member of SAGE students can expect to form meaningful connections with like-minded individuals who are committed to creating change and making a difference both individually and as a community.

“Members can be expected to be heard. We value and encourage everyone’s ideas regarding how we can help our community,” says Grygny. “Joining SAGE is filled with benefits ranging from learning to making friendships.”

For more information visit https://www.uww.edu/sustainability/students#orgs#students-allied-for-a-green-earth-sage