Earth Day event shines through the rain

Despite dreary weather and a no-show by the farm animals, Sunday afternoon’s Earth Day celebration on cross-campus caught the attention of many students interested in learning about the environment and eager to taste the free food.

Co-sponsored by the Student Taskforce for Environmental Partnership, the Yale Student Environmental Coalition, and the Sustainable Food Project Student Group, the celebration was scheduled for Friday, April 23, in honor of national Earth Day — which was Thursday, April 22 — but the event was postponed because of rain.

STEP member Shevaun Lewis ’06 said that when she was helping set up on Sunday, it began to rain again, but the group decided to go through with the event anyway and hope for the best. While most of the displays were successfully postponed to Sunday, event sponsors were unable to reschedule the goats and pigs that were reserved as a main attraction for the celebration on Friday.

Lewis said the event was a success nevertheless.

“I think we still achieved the main purpose of the celebration, which was to make people more aware of the choices they make about the food they eat and how much they waste, as well as just to have a good time,” Lewis said.

The menu for the afternoon included fresh bread from local farms, Portobello mushroom sandwiches, “lamb-burgers,” and homemade organic ice cream and brownies. Some of Berkeley College’s chefs, who prepare organic food every day, joined the celebration. The chefs helped students cook their own lamb-burgers, which STEP member Katie Matlack ’06 said were a huge hit.

“All the food was delicious, but the lamb-burgers went the fastest,” she said.

While the food was popular, the groups also focused on creating educational opportunities for students. Signs about conserving food and saving the rainforest lined the paths of Cross Campus during the event, and a tent contained a collage about recycling and information about all the environmental student groups.

STEP member Karen Stamieszkin ’06 set up a table and handed out biodegradable flower pots in an effort to show people that even plants can be recycled.

“The idea is that when plants grow, they are taking nutrients out of the soil,” Stamieszkin said. “So what a lot of people don’t realize is that food and plants are another non-renewable resource if you don’t make an effort to recycle them as well.”

Stamiezskin said she thought that considering the weather, the celebration had a pretty good turnout and that for the most part, people listened to what organizers had to say.

“In general, people are pretty responsive,” she said. “There is definitely an interest out there to learn what they can do to help the cause.”

Karen Stamieszkin ‘06 (left), Stephanie Lee ’06 (middle) and Erica Larsen ’06 (right) plant seeds for Earth Day.
Stephanie Dziczek
Karen Stamieszkin ‘06 (left), Stephanie Lee ’06 (middle) and Erica Larsen ’06 (right) plant seeds for Earth Day.

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