LA CROSSE, Wis. -

University students in the La Crosse area rang in Earth Day on Monday.

At Viterbo University, students listened to a number of local speakers and participated in some hands-on activities, including learning about rain barrels.

Students used the water that ran off from campus buildings to water flowers in the courtyard.

Rick Artman, the university's president, says it's a day to be very proud of the students, especially since it follows the teachings of St. Francis.

"Sustainability is an important part of the contemporary issue we face, and if we're going to give the Earth to the generations who follow, we have to be good stewards of the Earth," says Artman.

Viterbo students also planed a red maple tree in a campus courtyard.

Meanwhile at Western Technical College, students and the public watch the film "Switch." It focuses on finding the right solution for the future of energy.

Following the movie, a panel of local businesses shared what they are doing to become more energy efficient.

A Kwik Trip spokesman talked about different fuel sources, like compressed natural gas.

Tom Thompson, the Sustainability Coordinator with Gundersen Lutheran, talked about the hospitals work to be the first health system in the nation to be energy independent.

"We really have to look at this from multiple angles and do what we can, when we can, timing is always important and every little bit counts, the more we can all do, the better it is, and we're all responsible," says Thompson.

Western's celebrations continue all through "Earth Week."

Tomorrow's theme focuses on recycling, and includes a "dumpster dive."