Flags from countries all over the world led the way to Global Awareness Week on West Campus last week where students were exposed to a myriad of cultures while learning about environmentally sustainable practices.
This year, the Global Network Club, Student Sustainability Coalition and International Studies Association joined forces to incorporate social, economic, political and global issues into the third annual Earth Week, which formerly focused solely on environmental issues.
The event’s organizers decided that this year’s title should be changed from the annual event Earth Week to “Global Awareness Week: A Search for Common Ground and the Many Faces of Sustainability” to incorporate the celebration and awareness of both sustainability and cultural diversity.
“We need to find a common ground between all people and nations in this world,” said Sarah Freeman, president of the Student Sustainability Coalition. “We need to understand that we have become a global society.”
Monday was Recycling Awareness Day and to make a point, recyclables that were discarded in the trash were strung up between two trees in the plaza on East Campus with a sign that asked, ” Why wasn’t this recycled?”
Organic foods, including cauliflower, nuts and avocados were on sale. All of the produce was donated from the Farmer’s Market which helped keep the prices down. Organic food is “healthier since no chemical fertilizers and pesticides were used, so overall it is much better for you,” Freeman said. She added that it is not only good for the environment but that buying organic foods help maintain a good relationship with local farmers.
At one of the event’s tables, students lined up to test-drive and buy natural bamboo skateboards.
“I skate to work and to school every day,” said Jasper Hein, a representative of Loaded Skateboards. “I know that helps the environment.”
The Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District also participated in the festivities, showcasing their new hybrid electric buses that run on soy-based fuel and bio diesel, a biological, plant-based fuel, said Sarah Herbold, MTD’s assistant manager of marketing and customer service.
MTD purchased diesel electric hybrid buses and now use bio diesel, which is a biological, plant-based fuel, in all of the buses.
According to Herbold, , Santa Barbara has the largest fleet of battery electric vehicles in the whole county.
“We have been looking for these options for years, and they have just recently become readily available and affordable,” Herbold said.
Student John Berger of the International Studies Association says global awareness is directly related to the environment, and by incorporating such issues into the event, students could learn how they can help limit global conflict as well as learn how to better combat pollution.
“Part of fighting pollution is understanding the other cultures that inhabit this earth,” Berger said. “Global warming is a world problem that doesn’t recognize political boarders. We must come together as a human race to combat global warming.”
-Rebekah Khoury is a Journalism 101 student.
Ashley Hernandez contributed to
this story and is a Channels staff writer.
Brett Harris and Justin Thomas also contributed
to this story and are Journalism 101 students.