The University of La Verne took part in Earth Day 2009 by hosting an environmental fair Wednesday.
This year’s celebration combined Earth Day, Greek Week and Commuter Day where more than 30 student clubs and vendors took part in the celebration on the Quad.
“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Reconsider” was the theme of the fair.
Students and community members were invited to attend the free event.
The first 200 commuter students received a free lunch and goodie bags.
“It’s about getting everyone to try and recognize that we all live here on this earth and even the smallest things can make a difference,” Charles Bentley, University spokesman, said.
The event was generated through the efforts of the Green Institute for Village Empowerment, the Society of Physical Life Science Scholars and the Campus Activities Board, all student clubs.
“The fact that we have been able to collaborate with GIVE and Greek Week has been great,” sophomore liberal studies major Amanda McCadden said.
McCadden said she has worked since February to coordinate the event.
Senior communications major Cerina DeSouza collaborated with senior Emily Romo to publicize the event.
“For my senior project I wanted to make Earth Day a big event,” DeSouza said.
DeSouza created the Earth day logo, wrote a press release and distributed posters to the students and community with Earth Day information. A blurb about Earth Day even appeared on CBS and KCAL 9 Monday.
“I wanted to bring everyone together so the community can celebrate the event,” DeSouza said.
Participants brought recyclable items like cans, bottles, bags, newspapers and even textbooks. A clothing exchange booth offered students a place to donate or trade unwanted clothes.
“What’s another couple steps if we can better the Earth. It’s a small thing but you have to start somewhere,” Bentley said.
Sorority groups made donations with the cans people brought for recycling.
“I came here to support my sorority sisters,” Sarah Vasquez, senior psychology major, said.
“I do think that the current generation of students are far more aware of the ecological demands and dangers that we face. I believe also that they are very service-aware. They understand giving back,” Bentley said. “I think that’s very admirable. I see that across the board at the University.”
Designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for Earth’s environment, Earth Day was created in 1970 by Sen. Gaylord Nelson. This celebration of the planet has expanded and is celebrated by half a billion people every year in 175 countries, according to the Earth Day Network.
Earth Day has expanded substantially since in the last 40 years.
The first Earth day was an environmental teach-in on college campuses and 22 million demonstrators participated. Nelson chose April 22 as the date of Earth Day to maximize participation on college campuses.
The Earth Day Network is working to promote understanding and protection of the environment in the younger generation. National Environmental Education Week is held the week before Earth Day to engage kindergarten through high school students in environmental learning and service.
Megan Sebestyen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.