UCSD thinks global with Earth Day festival

    The Environmental Coalition and California Public Interest Research Group teamed up Monday to organize the third annual Earth Day celebration on Library Walk and in the Price Center.

    Lyon Liew

    The two student groups organized a fair with various environmentally concerned groups to promote awareness of environmental issues and to cultivate student activism.

    The organizations represented both off- and on-campus groups. Other on-campus groups included Campus Recycling, the Vegetarian Club and the Food Co-Op.

    Organizations from the community included the Sierra Club, San Diego Bay Keeper, Altair Energy, Earth Friendly Building Products, The San Diego Bike Coalition, Floresta, and Ford Motor Co., promoting its electric vehicles as part of the “”Think Neighborhood”” campaign.

    The Earth Day organizers also brought two musical acts, Madcap Otis and Downpour, to Price Center Plaza. Scott Wong, a Thurgood Marshall College junior enjoyed seeing Madcap Otis.

    “”Madcap Otis was good,”” Wong said. “”The girl who played the tambourine was good. They were better than I thought they would be.””

    Fans also liked Downpour, which will return to Porter’s Pub on May 15.

    The turnout and support pleased organizers. Mary Chen, vice president of the Environmental Coalition and a Marshall sophomore expressed her excitement.

    “”It was really successful,”” Chen said. “”We want to see students make the world a better place and support Earth Day.””

    Melinda Gibson, co-chair of the Earth Day organization, coupled her excitement for the day’s events with hope that students would become more involved in Earth-protecting behavior.

    “”Earth Day is a great event where students can realize how they can make a difference environmentally in their community,”” Gibson said. “”Students can do any small thing from recycling to riding their bike to school, but the true purpose of this day is for students to realize the large things they can do such as joining a student organization like CalPIRG or Environmental Coalition.””

    Lindsey Yeats, beach monitoring chair of the campus Ocean Awareness Club and an Earl Warren College senior, found strong student support.

    “”It was a great day,”” Yeats said. “”A lot of people showed interest in helping the oceans out with beach clean-ups.””

    The Ocean Awareness Club will hold a beach cleanup in Imperial Beach on April 27 from 9 a.m. to noon. Students can meet at Sun God at 8:30 a.m. for carpooling.

    The Hare Krishna group provided lunch for the Earth Day celebration. The group promotes a vegan diet and often provides lunch for students in the Student Center.

    Kevin Smith helped make and serve the food. Smith commented on the environmental relationship with a vegetarian diet.

    “”We’re a very environmentally friendly religion so we support a vegetarian diet which is environmentally friendly,”” Smith said.

    Floresta, a Christian environmental nonprofit organization that fights deforestation and poverty in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Oaxaca, Mexico, collected donations to support villages abroad and plant trees in the United States.

    The group goes abroad to train local farmers in soil conservation, agro-foresting and direct reforestation. Floresta also provides loans to farmers.

    Independent students also used the day’s fervor as a chance to mobilize.

    John Muir College freshman Jessica Horton petitioned with a friend to get recycling bins placed at all campus trash cans and to fund emptying and sorting the bins.

    Horton will petition Chancellor Robert C. Dynes to allocate money from the Chancellor’s Fund. Horton claims the recycling program is underfunded now.

    “”My main concern since I’ve been at college is that there are a lot of students willing to recycle but not enough campus resources to reflect the student’s concern,”” Horton said. “”We want the program to get funded and expanded.””

    Marshall junior Addie Young enjoyed the day and the participation of students but also saw a need for greater environmental consciousness.

    “”It’s nice that we get the awareness,”” Young said. “”I just wish that people were more considerate in general.””

    Young said the Hare Krishna group remains environmentally conscious all year.

    “”Earth Day is every day for them,”” Young said.

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