Earth Day celebration helps educate and entertain students

Celina Jauregui, Staff Writer

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Students gathered on the West Campus lawn to celebrate and learn about the planet for this year’s Earth Day celebration.

The lawn buzzed with activity as students collected gifts, listened to jazz and ate vegan snacks.

Participants could earn tickets from booths by asking questions and playing games. The tickets could be redeemed for fair trade goodies, trail mix, potted plants and shirts.

A small band of students came together to volunteer for the event, which was organized by the Sustainability Committee and sponsored by the Associated Student Government.

Many organizations gathered to spread important messages, including The Climate Reality Project, The Sierra Club, Community Environmental Council and a few on-campus clubs.

Representatives offered trivia, a bike-powered blender and a how-to on home composting.

Students could also be educated on fair trade, ocean protection, trash reduction and recycling.

“Recycling is actually bad,” said Bryan Latchford, a representative for Santa Barbara Trash and Recycling. “China said no to processing old trash…. So if there isn’t someone that wants to buy it, it’s being wasted.”

Latchford encouraged students to abandon single-use products and opt for multi-use and naturally sourced products.

The energy and geology clubs joined forces to bring in recently revamped solar charging stations, with club member Joneel Zinto offering demonstrations.

Some tables were occupied with collecting signatures to push for implementation of environmental policies, including more renewable energy and environmentally conscious policy building.

“Our goal is to get rid of oil sources, on and offshore,” said Gail Marshall, a representative of Get Oil Out, regarding the current policies surrounding drilling.

Other groups took a more hands-on approach to education, such as the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s Aquatic Center.

The center brought a mobile tank, letting students touch underwater creatures such as starfish, urchins and sea snails.

If students are interested in getting more involved in their campus environmental efforts, they can stop by the Sustainability Committee at 1 p.m. on Fridays in the Office of Student Life.

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