Sustainability

Celebrate the environment at EarthFest

This Earth Day, April 22, from 1–5 pm, EcoLogic will be hosting its annual EarthFest event to celebrate the environment. EarthFest is a time for environmental clubs and outside organizations to get involved and showcase what they’re doing for the environment. Some clubs that traditionally attend and are environmentally geared are the Green Greeks, Hey Red, Go Green, Engineers for a Sustainable World, Engineers Without Borders, Student Sustainability Task Force, Terra Café, and Vasudha. Each of these clubs will have a table and will be promoting their environmental goals, some tables will have activities that attendees can participate in.

EcoLogic will have its own tables with different things to do. Traditionally, there is a table for tie-dyeing, which is the most popular activity. EarthFest goers can bring their own things to tie-dye, or they can use one of the shirts provided by EcoLogic, although there is a limited supply. There will also be tables for paint-a-pot, pot-a-plant, where participants can paint their own pot and then pick a flower to bring home with them, a table for delicious free smoothies, and a table where people can make their own recycled notebooks out of cardboard and recycled paper. The best part is that everything EcoLogic offers is free.

Alongside these traditional tables, some other clubs and organizations will be attending. RPI’s Science and Technology Studies department will have a table, as will the Habitat for Humanity, International Anti-Slavery Campaign, Rensselaer Christian Association, Society of Environmental Professionals, Society of Women Engineers, and Wellness Institute. There will also be three outside organizations: Troy Composting, Troy Bike Rescue, and, possibly, the Sanctuary for Independent Media.

The tradition of EarthFest has rather unknown origins. It is known that EcoLogic, RPI’s oldest environmental club, was founded in the 1980s as a chapter of Student Pugwash USA. Student Pugwash is a nationwide organization that promotes social responsibility in science and technology fields in the 21st Century. They eventually changed its name to EcoLogic and became an independent club with no national organization for backing. Alongside EcoLogic’s change from Student Pugwash, other environmental clubs have branched off to fulfill a need they felt was not fully met by EcoLogic’s approach. EcoLogic has the main goal of increasing sustainability in people’s personal lives and about celebrating the environment in general. Some of the other clubs that have branched off are part of national organizations, for example Engineers Without Borders and Engineers for a Sustainable World, and many of the sustainability-related clubs will be represented at EarthFest.

In the spirit of tradition, EarthFest will be held on the Rensselaer Union patio this year, as long as the weather permits it, and it will be held on Earth Day. Earth Day is a worldwide event for people to show support for the environment and its protection. EarthFest is also traditionally a part of RPI’s Earth Week events. Other Earth Week events include speakers and lecturers, research related to sustainability with a theme of interconnections.

With all these great tables and activities planned and situated on the beautiful Rensselaer Union patio, there shouldn’t be anything to stop you from coming over to take part in the festivities. Not even the weather can stop the festivities, as there is a rain date for the event on April 25. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be very concerned with environmentalism, there will be free food and what college student would turn that away?