On Friday, Earth Fest will be held from noon–4 pm on the Rensselaer Union patio. Earth Fest is an annual event primarily run by EcoLogic around Earth Day. It features tables by the sustainability clubs and other environmental-related organizations around RPI, and includes vegan smoothies, tie-dying, and much more. The clubs and organizations that will be represented at this year’s Earth Fest include the Student Sustainability Task Force, EcoLogic, Terra Café, Engineers for a Sustainable World, Engineers Without Borders, Hey Red Go Green, Recycling, and Green Greeks. Each club will have some cool things to share with visitors, including free food and lots of information. Anyone and everyone is absolutely welcome to come.
Last year, Earth Fest followed the Green Roof dedication ceremony. While things got off to a slow and slightly rocky start, fun was had by all the participants. Several people painted pots and then planted flowers in those pots (this event, which will be featured this year as well, is known by the charming tongue-twister “Paint-a-Pot Pot-a-Plant”). For those who enjoy crafts, don’t forget to bring a white t-shirt to tie-dye! Making a recycled notebook is also something crafty, but is also good for the environment. These notebooks are made using old cereal boxes for the front and back covers, and paper that has already been used on one side in the middle.
Food, as has already been mentioned, is another important staple of Earth Fest. EcoLogic is providing vegan smoothies made from delicious fruits and juices. Most smoothies are often vegan, unless they contain milk or other animal products, so don’t be afraid that you’re going to be fed some weird stuff. Terra Café will have food, too. Other clubs might—we’re not totally sure what everyone is bringing as part of their table, and there will likely be some fun surprises!
Collaboration between the major environmental clubs and organizations on campus is a major part of Earth Fest. Too often at RPI there are several events that sound like fun during the same time period. Earth Fest is an attempt between sustainability organizations to come together and show that we are stronger when we work together. This is the same for the larger environmental movement. Some people might want to save whales or polar bears, while others might be concerned about the human effects of global warming. Even solutions can be argued over; to some people, the best solution would be to revert back to a hunter-gatherer society, while others believe that technological solutions will save the day, and most are in between. While there are not quite these widespread disagreements between sustainability clubs at RPI (and in fact many people belong to more than one), it must be recognized that collaboration is necessary to make something easier and more fun for everyone.
If you are free this Friday sometime between noon and 4 pm, please stop by and celebrate the Earth with us. Have some fun, meet new people, make a craft to take home, eat some delicious food, and learn more about environmental problems and what the various sustainability clubs at RPI are doing for the environment.