Poly to celebrate low impact Earth Day birthday
The second annual Earth Day celebration at Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus will be a birthday bash. It’s Earth Day’s 40th anniversary, and the ASU community is invited to celebrate from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., April 20, near the Student Union.
At this year’s “Earth Day Birthday” event, student organizations will be hosting games and activities. In addition, academic and research projects and programs relating to the environment or sustainability will be showcased, and community vendors with “green” products will be featured. Tours of select facilities that received LEED green building certification at Poly will be provided by RSP Architects and DPR Construction, the contractors who helped build the Academic Complex.
And it’s not a celebration unless there is food and music. Aramark will be serving fresh food samples made with products from local vendors, which is part of Aramark’s “green plate” program available in the student unions on all ASU campuses. Even the music, provided by Brazilian band Grupo Liberdade using only acoustic instruments, is low-impact.
Polytechnic’s Earth Day tradition began last year with the Earth Day Feastival, presented by the student, faculty and staff Polytechnic Sustainability Committee, which has been successful in its efforts to make the Polytechnic campus greener – literally and figuratively.
“The Polytechnic Sustainability Committee set three goals for the campus when they were established two years ago,” said Bonny Bentzin, director of University Sustainability Practices at ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability. “Thanks to their hard work, all three goals have been met – the formation of a campus community garden, campus-wide recycling initiatives, and the formation of the student group Students Act Now for Sustainability (SANS). Right now, we’re working to set new goals for the Polytechnic campus.”
SANS has worked to spread awareness of sustainable practices and global needs throughout the school year, with films, a locally grown meal, recycling activities and ecology lessons for local elementary students.
“For Earth Day, we will be doing free tie dye – students can come out and make old clothes new again,” said Becky Rubenstrunk, president of SANS. “Along with the tie dye, we will focus on water conservation and fun ways to re-use old clothes or grocery bags.”
The Polytechnic Programming and Activity Board and SANS are sponsoring Grupo Liberdade’s performance and a free movie, “No Impact Man,” which will be played in the Cooley Ballrooms at 6 p.m. Those who bring a cup to the movie can get a free root beer float.
“At the afternoon event, we will hold a drawing for two water conservation kits and informational books for greener consumer choices,” Rubenstrunk said. “Participants in certain Earth Day Birthday events will earn tickets for participating, and the drawing will be held later in the day.”
The Green Team student organization, which promotes recycling and environmentally friendly campus practices, will be at the event with a recycling game. The team is also contributing a solar-powered backpack that will be part of a drawing at the showing of the movie.
For more information about the event, visit http://students.asu.edu/discovery/earthdaybirthday.
Written by Kari Stallcop