The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 bring awareness to environmental issues. Over four decades later, the holiday continues to drive our focus toward finding sustainable solutions for a healthier planet. That can mean a lot of different things for different people. From making individual choices to use less and recycle more, to advocating for policies that increase our use of renewable energy sources, building a sustainable future relies on everyone doing their part, from giant organizations, to local communities and individuals.
For some, joining the movement means entering the renewable energy workforce. In honor of Earth Day, we asked some first-term Ecotech Institute students why they decided to pursue green careers.
The biggest reason for me is that it's good for the environment. I spend time in the mountains a lot, and I want my kids, and their kids after that, to be able to go up to the mountains and enjoy the outdoors like I've been able to.
Solar energy is exciting to me because it is the future. I want to work toward sustainability for our society and make our world a better place. – Dylan Szalwimski, Solar Energy Technology
I have a passion for renewable resources because I would hate to see the resources we currently have to deplete to the point that countries are fighting to maintain control over energy. I'm also interested in renewable energy because it does save you money. I bought [an electric vehicle], and over the course of a month I save an average of $300 just on fuel costs alone. I have solar panels in my backyard that have saved me on my energy bill as well. There is already a big demand for this, and once more people know about it, the movement will grow. – Sheldon Anderson, Solar Energy Technology
They say money makes the world go ‘round. I want to get a career in solar engineering and work to direct that money toward more efficient and sustainable energy resources. – Rebecca Mosb, Solar Energy Technology
I want to provide for my family and build a career, and I chose renewable energy because I know that it's going to be around for a long time. – Roberto Valadez, Electrical Engineering Technology
I got into wind energy because I saw the impact [of the energy crisis] overseas while being deployed — I was in the Army for seven years and was deployed three times. I want to learn about the technology we are using here and help bring it to other places. – Marcus Ollie, Wind Energy Technology
The biggest reason for me is that it's good for the environment. I spend time in the mountains a lot, and I want my kids, and their kids after that, to be able to go up to the mountains and enjoy the outdoors like I've been able to. – Thomas Herbert, Solar Energy Technology