On April 22, people around the globe come together to celebrate Earth Day and to bring recognition to the many environmental challenges confronting our planet.

As Spartans, we know that despite the daunting and urgent sustainability challenges facing humanity, our greatest strength is our ability to collaborate to solve big problems.

But how can we make a difference when the task is so big? Where do we even start?

One of my favorite quotes is from Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983). He said "What you do with yourself, just the little things you do yourself, these are the things that count."

Change doesn't always happen quickly and the large challenges that lay ahead often seem overwhelming; yet it is important to remember that it's the little things that add up to make a difference.

During our annual Be Spartan Green Awards on April 20, our department was honored to recognize a handful of campus leaders who, through both small steps and big collective actions, are making an impact on campus and throughout our community. Each of this year's winners had a unique story to tell about how they work to support sustainability in our community, but the thing that united them was their personal commitment to a more sustainable lifestyle.

Our daily personal actions can make a big impact, and as individuals we all have a part to play in making this world a better place.

Jane Goodall said "What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make." I encourage you to spend Earth Day reflecting on how you can continue to make a difference in your community, both big and small, to contribute to a healthier, happier and more sustainable environment. Whether it be recycling, walking to class, turning out your lights or engaging your peers in thoughtful discussion about how to better our world - our collective actions and our "Spartans Will" can make a difference.

Ann Erhardt, Director, MSU Sustainability

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