May 4, 2010
Humane and environmental issues worldwide were the focus of Earth Fest 2010.
WOOSTER, Ohio - Necklaces made with recycled paper beads, homemade eco-friendly laundry detergent, and bags crafted from previously worn Indian saris were just a few of the attractions that drew scores of students to Lowry Center for Earth Fest 2010. The celebration, which took place on Earth Day, also featured speakers, campus bands, a capella groups, information tables, and other activities designed to promote awareness about humane and environmental issues worldwide.
"Environmentalism is not about saving the world," said Austin Beer, the soon-to-graduate president of the student environmental group Greenhouse and one of the event's organizers. "It's about saving people...the Earth can take care of itself; it's people I'm worried about."
Artist activist Ricardo Levin, whose appearance on campus was sponsored by the student organization Peace by Peace, talked about the importance of becoming involved in environmental causes. "We are having this Earth Day during an environmental crisis," he said. "Organizing is about power, and power is what's going to create better policy and leave a better world behind us."
Other speakers included Matt Mariola, visiting assistant professor of environmental entrepreneurship, Jessica Barkheimer from Local Roots in downtown Wooster, and Grant Cornwell, President of the College, who said, "our campus should be a model for what larger society should be in terms of gender relations, race relations, and sustainability."
Greenhouse used the occasion to campaign against the use of bottled water and encourage people to buy reusable water bottles as an alternative, while Local Roots, shared information about its mission "to connect people to local food for the sake of sustainability." Also on hand were representatives from the community bike program, which was there to repair bikes that were brought to them and to support bike usage on campus and in the community.
"This was a great way to get people involved," said Colleen O'Neil, a first-year student from Chalk Hill, Pa. "The speakers were very effective in educating the crowd about environmental issues."
[Story and photo by Libby Fackler]
1189 Beall Avenue, Wooster, Ohio 44691. (330) 263-2000
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