From live music to conservation education, organizers say they expect to attract roughly 1,000 people to this weekend’s Earth Day celebration in Isla Vista.
On Saturday, April 16, the Associated Students Environmental Affairs Board (EAB) will host the annual event in Anisq’ Oyo’ Park. Beginning at noon, festivities are scheduled to include seven bands, cultural dancing, yoga, a recycled art contest and a sea life touch tank for kids — brought in by the UCSB Marine Science Institute. In addition, EAB member and event organizer Scott Mackenzie said local businesses plan to participate in the celebration by offering discounts to customers who, for example, bring their own dishes and utensils or purchase reusable mugs.
Besides educating festival attendees about environmentally friendly living and the importance of conservation and recycling, Mackenzie said one of the event’s goals is to be eco-friendly itself.
“We want to leave as little of an environmental footprint as feasible,” said Mackenzie, a senior global studies major.
He said EAB is working in conjunction with A.S. Recycling, MarBorg Industries and local I.V. businesses to make the day as much of a ‘no-waste’ event as possible. MarBorg will provide bins for reusable goods, such as plastic grocery bags, in addition to trash containers. A.S. Recycling will also set up compost bins.
A.S. Recycling co-coordinator Sean O’Connor, a senior geography major, said he hopes to weigh and compare the amount trash collected with the amount of recyclables collected to evaluate the day’s success as a no-waste event.
“Often at big events there is a lot of unnecessary waste,” O’Connor said. “It will be fun to see how much we can cut it down — I think we can cut it down significantly.”
According to the EAB website, Earth Day 2005 is officially designated as ‘Baile con Pachamama,’ which means ‘Dance with Mother Nature.’
Aaron Gilliam, EAB co-chair and a fourth-year environmental studies major, said Earth Day is more of a time to celebrate than to do hard work.
“It’s a day to gather with friends and enjoy life and the environment that we are trying so hard to protect,” Gilliam said.
Gilliam said A.S. volunteers organize and work at the event, and that local businesses donate many of the supplies. Although he did not have the celebration’s exact budget as of press time, Gilliam said the A.S. Isla Vista Community Relations Committee gave the environmental group about $2,000 for the event.
Mackenzie said the day would kick off with the first band at noon, with live music continuing until around 10 p.m. The bands represent a variety of musical genres, including hip hop, reggae, “Bohemian Tribal Funk Grass,” Latin dance music and alternative rock. Two of the bands, Zen Pocket and the Limbz, are local bands that include several members who are students at UCSB or SBCC. Blue Turtle Seduction, Vegitation, Alma Melodiosa, Brett Dennen and Temple of Funk round out the rest of the playlist.
O’Connor said A.S. Recycling is holding a ‘Recycled Art’ contest, in which the first place winner will receive a free whale watching trip. He said second- and third-place winners will receive gift certificates. Anyone with a creation made from items normally thrown away is welcome to enter; the artist just needs to bring the piece to the park, O’Connor said.
Mackenzie said the I.V. Food Co-op will be the only vendor within the park and will be selling sandwiches to the public. However, other I.V. businesses will participate by giving discounts. He said Blenders in the Grass plans to reduce the price of their travel mugs from $2.95 to $2 as well as increasing the discount given to customers who bring their own cups from 5 cents to 25 cents. Silvergreens will be giving free sodas to patrons who bring their own cups, Mackenzie said.
In the park, Mackenzie said EAB will set up booths containing information about how students can get involved with environmental groups based at UCSB and in the surrounding areas. In addition, he said information will be available about local and international environmental issues.
“Making a future for ourselves that is sustainable will only happen if we make it happen,” Mackenzie said. “The longer we wait, the harder it will be.”