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USU celebrates the planet on 40th annual Earth Day

April 26th, 2010 Posted in Opinion

By Cassidee Cline

LOGAN—A whirlwind of students, entertainment and information overtook the International Lounge in the TSC Thursday to celebrate USU’s 3rd annual Earth Day. Students walked around the room and looked at booths set up to inform people of ways the Earth has been damaged and how to prevent that damage further.

Earth Day was started 40 years ago by U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson, who said he wanted to make the state of the environment a political issue. The idea was proposed that President John F. Kennedy do a national tour to shed light on environmental issues. Kennedy took the idea and in 1970 Earth Day was born.

Students, teachers and even kids from Edith Bowen Elementary School came to the TSC to discover what Earth Day was about and how they could be more environmentally conscious.

“I like how much is being done,” international studies major Rachel Russak said.

Holding a Flubber-like gob of goo made at the Chemistry Club’s booth, she said there are a lot of things people were doing to help the environment that she wasn’t aware of. “People are creative when coming up with ideas for a problem,” Russak said.

One booth set up by Aggie Composters handed out buckets to students and explained how scraps of food could be turned into rich and valuable soil over time. With the buckets, students could save their scraps and later turn the bucket over to Aggie Composters, who compost the scraps for them.

Several students carried away the buckets, many with an Aggie Ice Cream label still stuck to the top.

USU catering provided a deliciously free chili-in-a-bread bowl lunch for people attending the event. Caffé Ibis also pitched in free organic coffee.

The USU Be Well program displayed fake lards of fat and empty soda bottles to show what sugar and 200 extra calories a day can do to you.

“If we eat simple and whole foods from the Earth, it’s better for the planet and it’s better for our health,” said Wellness coordinator Caroline Shugart. Drinking a can of soda a day for a year can end up with an extra 20 pounds around the waist, she said.

“Drink water out of drinking fountain and don’t use containers,” Shugart said. Bottles, cans and cups people use often pollute the ocean and the environment, she said.

Business student Bryson Carter tested his body fat percentage and body mass index at the Wellness booth. He said he learned about fat and birds, but learning about sodas weight gaining hazards didn’t make him want to stop drinking it immediately. “I’m not going to stop for a while,” he said.

Another booth provided reusable environmentally friendly Chico bags. Each bag cost $5 unless you rode a bike that generated power for the microphones on stage. The wheels continued to spin the duration of the event as local musicians used the renewable energy to entertain the crowd.

“We have come along way,” President Stan Albrecht said during his keynote speech, but added, “we have much to do.” Albrecht said climate change has become a crisis, but consumers can help by being better stewards through research and by being responsible.


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