The annual campus Earthstock Festival celebrated Earth Day with entertainment, music and educational opportunities on April 21.
This event was part of a week-long celebration of the environment. Many clubs and organizations were in attendance, including Campus Recreation, the Sustainability Studies program, the Environmental Club and the Sierra Club. The event was intended to take place in the Academic Mall, but due to the rainy weather that day, it was held in the Student Activities Center Ballrooms A and B.
Earthstock was blaring with music in Ballroom A as various organizations interacted with students. Ballroom B had more student-run groups and outside organizations from across Long Island.
The LGBTQ Services was in attendance to talk about its involvement with the national organization, OUT for Sustainability.
“They’re the nation’s leading LGBTQ organization dedicated to sustainability politics. They do a bunch of really cool stuff,” John Martin, representative for the LGBTQ Services, said. “They have a lot of consultation on how to improve their work to be more sustainable and greener.”
Junior mechanical engineering major Addison Shogren, the marketing executive for Centri Seed Innovations, a student run non-profit organization, spoke about exhibiting a bicycle that controls light bulbs. Viewers were excited when the lights turned on and off.
“We built a bike generator with the help of the Office of Sustainability,” Shogren said. “The way it works is that the back wheel spins the motor shaft, inside there’s a permanent magnet so that helps get a voltage going. We add in the lights one at a time, and as you add more wattage it gets harder to pedal.”
As part of the celebration, a farmer’s market sold different fruits and vegetables for $1 in the SAC lobby.
As a means of protesting the unsustainable practices on campus, Condrea Zhuang, a sophomore sustainability studies major and Environmental Club member, wore about four pounds of trash and carried a poster that read “Your Day In Trash.” She said this was something she wanted to do to commemorate Earth Day.
“This entire week I’ve been going around collecting trash that I see people using every day and then throwing away,” Zhuang said. “I see people eating, using then not recycling it or disposing of it correctly. I want this project to get reactions from people.”
Her fellow Environmental Club members agreed that her efforts were noticeable as she walked through dining halls and protested.
“It had a visually greater effect. People were surprised and took it to heart,” Anthony Girard, sophomore applied math and statistics major and fellow Environmental Club member, said. “They were very concerned with what it was and I think it made it something people were shocked by.”
Although this year’s Earthstock was held inside, it still turned out to be a successful event to those who attended. Next year’s will bring its same great activities and excitement.