Committee hosts its biggest Earth Day celebration

By Daniel Hernandez, Advocate Staff

Tables and tents filled Campus Center Plaza as the Sustainability Committee held its annual Earth Day celebration on April 22.

Over a dozen organizations from around the Bay Area gathered to share information and show what they can do in taking part in Earth Day celebrations.

Buildings and Grounds Manager Bruce King said, “This event brings to the attention of students and faculty the importance of taking care of the Earth — that is, doing the sustainable thing whether it’s recycling or energy conservation.”

Committee members took several months planning ahead, teaming up with multiple organizations.

The event was held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the time that would see the most foot traffic from students on their lunch hour.

A crowd surrounded King’s table in front of Fireside Hall. He handed out tote bags while students sifted through the free vegetable seed packets spread across the table.

King also gave out raffle tickets with the first place prize a $50 gift certificate to the Bookstore. Second place was two free meals to Aqua Terra Grill and third was a potted orchid and a compost container.

At the other end of the plaza was RecycleMore, an agency that works with local cites to reduce the amount of materials that go into landfills. They had several flyers, ones with diagrams of what should be recycled and what can go into compost areas.

Andy Schneider with RecycleMore informed participants about services offered around the county such as oil recycling and hazardous waste disposal, encouraging people to get toxic waste out of landfills.

Just a few tables over was the Cleaner Contra Costa Challenge group. Their goal is to work with residents of the county in order to create a more sustainable living environment. Jacenda Davis explained that the benefits of emission-reducing actions through the challenge will incentivize others to do the same and raise awareness.

Automotive assistant James Gardner brought two cars from the automotive department.

The automotive department has a rare 2002 Ford TH!NK, an early production electric golf cart that is also street legal. It’s a rare example of how far electric vehicles have progressed in a short amount of time.

He also brought over a 2015 Lexus 350h used as a comparison to show how quickly hybrid electric vehicles have evolved.

King said the event was the largest Earth Day celebration the committee has held.

“It’s been an evolution,” he said. “The first year that we did it was just me at a table.