A new study that looked at more than 40 years of survey data found that young people are less environmentally conscious than the generations before them.

According to the lead researcher of the study, San Diego State University psychology professor Dr. Jean M. Twenge, youths in the Millennial generation share much less of an interest in conserving energy and resources than their older siblings and parents in the Generation X and Boomer generations.

Christy Johns, a UF horticultural science major, sees the study as a call to action for young people to alter their outlook on the environment.

“Part of the mind set comes from a need for change. Don’t ever assume you have it right,” Johns said.

Gainesville’s Earth Day celebrations seem to call for just that. So, get out and celebrate Earth Day! Check out the events that are happening in and around Gainesville this weekend:

Earth Week at the Hippodrome Theatre

Friday, April 20 – Thurs., April 26

25 Southeast 2nd Place, Gainesville, FL 32601

Cost: Matinee showings are $6; evening showings are $7.50.

The Hippodrome Theatre will begin showing two social-issue feature films on Friday that will play all week. Other highlights of Earth Week include a reception with Neil Chonin of Southern Legal Counsel, two community forums and a tribute to a local environmental activist, Kathy Cantwell. See the full schedule here.

Florida Museum of Natural History’s Earth Day

1659 Museum Rd., Gainesville, FL 32607

Plant Sale

Friday, April 20 – Sunday, April 22; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: Free

More than 120 species of plants will be on sale Friday through Sunday at the museum. Visitors can find an assortment of butterfly-friendly plants, including native and hard-to-find plant species.


Saturday, April 21; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Come explore the museum’s outdoor teaching lab and learn how researchers document plants and animals in the field. Don’t miss UF’s entomology department’s extensive collection of dead, but well-preserved bugs — neat stuff!

Eco-Health Festival

Saturday, April 21; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

936 NW 31st Ave., Gainesville, FL 32609

Cost: Free entry!

The Suwannee River Area Health Education Center will host a family-friendly festival where Gainesville residents can learn about ways to protect themselves against harmful chemicals in the environment. The event will host a range of expert speakers, live music, games and free Thai-American food.

Swallowtail Farm Spring Festival

Saturday, April 21; 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.

27431 Country Rd. 1491, Alachua, FL 32615

Cost: Sliding admission of $10 to $20; children under 12 are free.

Spend your day out at Swallowtail Farm! Swallowtail Farm will be hosting a farmer’s market, live music, food from local vendors and a children’s fair. The event also include a farm workshop, local brews, and solar-powered music.

Frog Song Organics Festival and Field Day

Sunday, April 22; 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

4317 NE US Highway 301, Hawthorne, FL 32640

Cost: Entry donation

New to the local farming scene, Frog Song Organic Farm will be hosting an open house to celebrate Earth Day. Tour the farm, eat, drink and jam to some live music.

Earth Day Local Food Cook-Off

Thursday, April 26; 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

1560 Inner Rd., Gainesville, FL 32601

Cost: $9

UF’s Gator Dining will host a food cook-off where guest chefs from Eastside High School’s Culinary Program and employees of Gator Dining can compete in an ‘Iron Chef’-style competition. The participants must win by using the local ingredients assigned to them to cook the best dish. Anyone can stop by Broward Dining to taste the food and vote on the winning dish.

Thumbnail photo taken at last year’s Swallowtail Farm Spring Festival.