SUSTAINABILITY

EarthFest generates plenty of opportunity

ATTENDEES VISIT the EarthFest celebration on Earth Day in 2014 and pot plants. The participants were also invited to paint pots and even work on recycled notebooks. This year’s celebration will be held April 24 at the Rensselaer Union on campus.

On Friday, April 24, from 10 am–3 pm, EcoLogic will be hosting their annual EarthFest. This event is put on by the club to celebrate Earth Day and bring awareness to environmental issues. EcoLogic will have several tables full of free goodies, such as vegan smoothies, tie-dying, paint-a-pot pot-a-plant, and a make-your-own recycled notebook station. EarthFest will take place on the Rensselaer Union Patio. Stop by for a few minutes to grab yourself a refreshing smoothie, or stay longer and tie-dye a shirt, make yourself a recycled notebook, and learn more about environmental issues and how your fellow students are working on solving them.

EarthFest has been running for many years; EcoLogic is RPI’s longest-running environmental club, dating back to the 1980s as a chapter of Student Pugwash USA. Environmental events around Earth Day and Earth Week at RPI go back even farther: in old copies of The Poly, there are advertisements for Earth Day 1970 celebrations. Many of RPI’s other environmental clubs and organizations branched off from EcoLogic, some starting as EcoLogic projects that then became too large for one club to handle. EarthFest is partially about bringing these clubs together for a collaborative event to celebrate the Earth. Over the years, EarthFest has taken place on the Quadrangle lawn, by Sage Dining Hall, and the Rensselaer Union patio. EcoLogic’s four activities have been running for many years, though there have at times been twists, such a solar-powered blender to make the smoothies. In 2011, the Green Roof Dedication Ceremony took place before EarthFest, with some green roof planting taking place during EarthFest. This is the green roof over the Union bookstore—it has been there for exactly four years today, April 22, 2015.

Clubs in attendance this year include Design for America at Rensselaer, Habitat for Humanity, Smart Lighting Club, Society of Environmental Professionals, Student Sustainability Task Force (with SustainAffinity), Terra Café, and Vasudha. Each of these clubs will have something fun to do, as well as be able to explain how their organization focuses on sustainability. DFA will be starting Drop and Swap, so bring any items you have that you don’t need any more so they can find a new home! Find more details at http://poly.rpi.edu/s/itoq1/. What the rest of the clubs will be bringing is a surprise, so be sure to come and check it out!

While EcoLogic has T-shirts for tie-dying and pots for painting, we invite you to bring your own. Have a white T-shirt or pillowcase that you’re tired of being white? Or maybe you want to make your Grand Marshal Week “mug” (jar) into a plant home? Feel free to bring it!

Join the Facebook event at http://poly.rpi.edu/s/0lhpr/ to stay updated; the rain date is exactly a week later, on May 1 from 10 am–3 pm on the Union patio. Here’s to hoping that this Friday is sunny so we can all celebrate the Earth!

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