Everyone take a moment to reminisce about this weekend’s celebration of Earth Day… You know, the warm sun gently warming your pale winter skin, friends sharing picnic blankets, girls twirling in long flowing skirts and guys proud of their long hair and all its whirling capabilities. You remember now, you got to dance like no one is watching, drink like no one is driving and, of course, love our Earth. But let me introduce you to Earth Day’s even hotter twin sister, the Green Initiative Fund. She is just as sexy, wears just as many flowers in her hair, but, watch out, this sister is changing history and inviting you to join her. Her friends call her TGIF, they hang out in the Arbor, wear green and yellow T-shirts everyday and talk about her constantly. She’s just that good. All right, all right, let me finally satisfy your gnawing, begging curiosity, allow you to stop pacing back and forth as you anxiously grip the Opinion page of the Nexus, and have the honor of telling you why everyone is talking about TGIF.

TGIF calls all UCSB students to get down with their green side and be part of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take our campus, environmentalism and the future into our own hands. This is our university, and, goshdarn it, it will be green.

The Green Initiative Fund is a fund that will provide recourses for green initiatives that will decrease our impact on the environment. For example, imagine solar panels powering Campbell Hall while you listen to lecture. No longer will you be distracted worrying about greenhouse gases being emitted into the atmosphere causing ice caps to melt, extreme temperatures or another rainy Spring Quarter. Don’t worry, with solar panels you can relax and concentrate on your professor’s words. There is also the extra bonus of knowing that you are making money by investing in energy efficient appliances, heating and electricity that save the university hundreds of thousands of dollars each year once TGIF sets the infrastructure into place.

I will tell you why this is important. Did you know that our campus alone puts 143 million pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year? That is about 7,000 pounds per student. This huge contribution proves that every person can, and does, make a difference. Ladies and gentlemen, now you have the opportunity to choose a positive difference, to create an environment of innovation and forward thinking, to decrease our dependence on foreign oil, to protect the environment so that your grandchildren can enjoy the environment too, and to launch a campaign that will lead our country into a necessary and sustainable future. So, come on by Arbor. Make friends with the lovely TGIF. Spread the word about TGIF. Make Earth Day everyday and vote, vote, vote – until you go crazy.

Kelly Burns is a senior global studies major and A.S. external vice president of local affairs.