Dozens of students gathered at the University Mall on Tuesday afternoon to enjoy warm weather, food, music and giveaways while also learning about ways to help the environment.
Because of the number of ideas that the organizations had for an Earth Day event, this year the celebration has been extended to a full Earth Week for the first time, with Tuesday’s “Earth Fair” being the main event.
The event was the result of collaboration between the Campus Activities Board, Associated Students of ULV, and the Green Institute for Village Empowerment club.
“Usually CAB does an Earth Day event on their own, but this year ASULV and GIVE wanted to get involved,” said Rebecca Kennedy, sophomore psychology major and ASULV senator for the College of Arts and Sciences.
“We had so many different ideas, and there was a lot of help and input from all three organizations.”
Earth Day is celebrated annually in 175 countries on April 22 in order to raise awareness and increase appreciation for the earth and the environment.
Kennedy and sophomore CAB Philanthropy chair Shelby Griffin agreed that one of the main goals for the event was to get the clubs on campus involved with Earth Day.
The event featured a special fair in which many clubs presented students and faculty with information about Earth Day and the environment.
“We wanted to get as many students to come out as possible,” said Griffin, a history and English major.
“We wanted (students) to learn about Earth Day and also see what all the clubs have to offer. And we knew that if we collaborated, then we could get lots of people to come out.”
Students enjoyed all of the Earth Day related activities and information available at club booths, as well as a live performance by the unique, five-piece percussion group Plastic Musik, who performed songs using all-plastic instruments.
“I think it’s a pretty cool event,” sophomore psychology major William Krickl said. “I got to see how different clubs and organizations on campus view the issue of protecting our environment.”
The combination of the Earth Day theme, along with the atmosphere created by Plastic Musik’s performance, drew in many students and ultimately contributed to the event’s success.
As always, students were drawn to the event by the promise of free gear.
CAB and ASULV conducted a few giveaways throughout the event with items such as Earth Day t-shirts and eco-friendly water bottles.
Kennedy said that by giving away these water bottles ASULV was encouraging students to stop buying plastic water bottles, which create excessive waste and are ultimately harmful to the environment.
In addition, they hope that students will become aware and make use of the new water bottle refill station that has recently been placed on the first floor of the Campus Center near the Office of Student Life.
“We’re kind of in a state right now where the earth is becoming more of a topic of discussion,” Griffin said. “If you have a day dedicated to it, people take more notice and are more likely to take an active role in making things better.”
While Earth Day is a great time to raise awareness about the environment, others think that these are issues everyone should be constantly aware of.
“On a grander scale, like the entire city of Los Angeles, if they were to do something for a whole week, it would be more helpful to let others know about the issues our environment faces,” Krickl said. “But just one day? That’s not enough.”
Danielle Navarro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.