The Environmental Affairs Board is hosting various events on and off campus through- out the week to commemo- rate Earth Day, culminating with an “Earth Day Festival” Saturday afternoon.
The festivities — dubbed “Every day is Earth Day” — kicked off Monday with the “Recycled Bottles Plant Project,” where students sowed vegetation in recy- cled water bottles. Today’s “Environmental Justice Day” features Native-American speaker Pete Crowheart’s discussion in the Student Resource Building about envi- ronmental issues impacting the Comanche community.
EAB Co-Chair and third- year environmental stud- ies major Natasha Weidner said this year’s activities span across the week to improve the events’ edifying effect. “EAB decided to do an Earth Week because we felt like just having a one-day festival doesn’t quite capture the spirit of stewardship that we’re trying to cultivate,” Weidner said. “This event is important because it incorporates hands- on interactive, educational experiences having to do with love for the Earth. We amplified the celebration for this week, but I think it is important to recognize Mother Earth every day of the year.” Wednesday’s events include a parade at 12:50 p.m. on Pardall Road that will lead to the “Gaviota Coast Protection Paddle Out” at 1 p.m. near Campus Point. Although gear is available, students are encouraged to bring their own wetsuits, boards, kayaks, boo- gie boards or rafts.
According to EAB Earth Week Coordinator Marjan Riazi, a fourth-year environmental studies major, this year’s festival marks the group’s 20th anniversary. “It was just perfect timing for us,” Riazi said. “Because of that, we wanted to do something bigger and more prominent. Each activity occurring every day will be related to environmental issues going on in
our community.” The “Occupy the Food Supply Eat-
In” public protest and potluck will occur Thursday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Arbor. South Coast Deli will discount beer to 50 cents per glass on Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. during the “Carrot Mob with a Twist” event for students who supply their own 12-ounce reusable cup.
EAB Co-Chair and fourth-year envi- ronmental studies major Cristina Cook said the festivities provide an entertaining means to generate community participation and awareness about ecological issues.
“The [celebration] is important because it creates an opportunity for [EAB] to reach out to the community, get them involved in environmental activism and help them find out how to better take care of the planet,” Cook said. “This is a way for the community to have fun while appreci- ating our beautiful little town here. We are blessed to live in such a wonderful area and it is important we continue to acknowledge that we keep it pristine.”
Saturday’s closing celebration will include food, live entertainment and inter- active activities such as face-painting, henna tattoos and craft-making from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Anisq’Oyo’ Park. Musical performances will include campus bands such as The Kicks, Sprout, Givers & Takers, Afro Brazilian Ensemble, Benny B & Lomo, The Fire Department and The
MTs. Riazi said the celebration reflects the
student body’s adherence to eco-friendly practices.
“We hope that everyone will come out to our events as well as the giant festival on Saturday,” Riazi said. “It is a really cool celebration; a big time for UCSB to live up to its reputation as a green, sustainable campus and a big opportunity for students to see what that truly means.”
Oceans Campaign Coordinator for CALPIRG Michelle Ta, a first-year English major, said various organizations will table at the events to promote environ- mental awareness.
“I think students should be aware about this issue because it is affecting all of us,” Ta said. “If we do not work to keep our planet healthy, then one day perhaps our own beaches here at UCSB will not even be habitable. California alone is using about $25 million annually to dispose of plastic bags. If plastic bags were banned then that money could be used for much more needed things such as our own education.”
Ta said the university’s proximity to the beach provides motivation to maintain the coast’s pristine nature.
“I am so excited that UCSB is hav- ing these events to promote environmental awareness,” Ta said. “I think a lot of people have stigmas about being environmentally friendly, such as it being inconvenient or costly. These events will hopefully teach students that these stigmas aren’t true and that being environmentally friendly is a lifestyle that is easily attainable, affordable and rewarding for ourselves and Earth.”
Visit http://eab.as.ucsb.edu or email ucs- bEAB@gmail.com for more information or to volunteer.