Today marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. The Students for Environmental Action (SEA) will be hosting events all day in the Union to raise awareness and to get students involved in Earth Day.
The event will kick off with a parade at 9:20 a.m. in Bosco Plaza and will go to Waters Hall before coming back to the Union. There will be many different activities taking place inside the Union for students.
Among the activities there will be a T-Shirt swap with the option of tie-dying. Students can bring any old T-shirts they don’t want and trade one for another shirt. If you want to give an old shirt new flair, tie-dye will be available in colors and bleach.
The Department of Environmental Health and Safety will be collecting hazardous waste from students. Some substances, anything ignitable, corrosive, or toxic, cannot be easily recycled or disposed of. Items being collected include batteries, cellular phones, paints, anything containing mercury, fluorescent lights, electronics, appliances, aerosol cans and motor oil. The items will be properly disposed of or sent to where they can be recycled. Students are encouraged to bring as many items as they can to be properly disposed of instead of being thrown away and causing pollution.
Several student and community organizations will be in attendance to promote Earth Day. The Student Farm Club will be having a produce sale. Fair trade bags are being sold by FAAST 5K and Ordinary Women. Chartwells will be promoting their sustainable practices. They will be selling sustainable wraps as well. Students will not walk away hungry at this event.
Other groups in attendance are Amnesty International, KSU Facilities and Recycling, the Sierra Club and about 20 other groups. Groups will be demonstrating to students what they are doing to make the world greener and showing what students can do to make a difference. A scavenger hunt will also be happening, which will lead students to different organizations tables and ultimately to prizes.
Other highlights include a puppet show, which will be interactive and educational about environmental and humanitarian issues. The elusive Bag Monster is supposed to be haunting the Union tomorrow as well. Student will be able to actively participate in different activities around the Union in addition to hearing from some passionate speakers.
From 12 – 1 p.m. there will be speakers, including Ben Champion, director of sustainability. Speakers will talk about the history of Earth Day, the goals and purpose of the event, and what we should be doing to make the future a better place.
“Earth Day was a hallmark event, and campuses had very large attendance across the nation and had huge turnouts to celebrate the earth and promote preservation of natural resources as efforts to control pollution,” Champion said. “We’ve come a long way since that time with good environmental laws and ways of regulating pollution, but many of the core challenges of that time remain core challenges today. We still do not have an economy that is based upon renewable resources’ use, and we still don’t know how to provide an abundant standard of living for our society. That’s what Earth Day is still all about.”
Also during this time, there will be a call to action from the SEA. SEA members will be giving a speeches about their declaration.
“It’s about K-State coming together and Manhattan coming together to say ‘Hey, what do we want for the next 10 years? What are we going to do about that?” said SEA Vice-President Zack Pistora.
The event has lots of fun activities but also stresses the importance of long-term thinking. Pistora believes the event will show K-State is not just celebrating but trying to create a better future through awareness and activism. Several SEA members in addition to Pistora will be speaking at today’s events.