April 20, 2010

Student Center to host special Earth Day activities

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Student Center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will host a full day of free, special activities on Thursday, April 22, in honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.

The event, open to all, includes a Green Fair with about 25 informational tables filling the Roman Room and the south Hall of Fame. Exhibitors include the Student Center, SIUC Recycling and Vermicomposting, Sierra Club, Sustainability Council, Buckminster Fuller Dome Restoration Initiative, the Shawnee National Forest and many others. Visitors can learn more about “green” initiatives on campus and throughout the Southern Illinois region.

The Polka Dawgs band will play and local automotive dealerships will have an alternative fuel auto display at mid-day. The Craft Shop will offer Earth-friendly art projects and a Birdhouse Sale while Saluki Spokes is having a bike repair workshop, too.

A new event for 2010 is the Earth Day Art, Photo and Video Contest. Open to all students, it’s a showcase for student creativity. The winning video will air that afternoon while artwork and posters highlight a display in the south window of the University Bookstore.

The Sierra Club will air the video “Burning Our Future: Coal in America.” The 89-minute film explores the growing conflict in West Virginia between residents and the coal industry.

“Saluki Green: Reducing Our Carbon Paw Print” is the theme for an evening panel discussion offering simple steps to take toward sustainability. The panel includes Erin Seekamp, forestry department assistant professor; Matthew Therrell, geography and environmental resources department assistant professor; Becky Clayborn, regional representative from the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign; and Jon Dyer, a senior geography and environmental resources major from Edwardsville.

The schedule for SIUC Earth Day 2010 at the Student Center includes:

• Earth Friendly Art, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., participants can create a variety of “green” arts and crafts, Craft Shop.

• Green Fair, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., highlighting earth-friendly projects and efforts at SIUC and around the region, Roman Room and Hall of Fame.

• Alternative Fuel Display, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., featuring Honda, Chevy, Ford and Toyota alternative fuel vehicles, Seymour L. Bryson Circle Drive in front of the Student Center.

• Saluki Spokes Workshop and Craft Shop Birdhouse Sale, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., learn simple bicycle repair and/or purchase a birdhouse, West Patio.

• The Polka Dawgs, noon-1 p.m., live band in the Roman Room.

• Herb garden planting, 1-3 p.m., see an herb garden created in a planter on the West Patio, 1-3 p.m. Student Center Chef Ethan Light will use the herbs it provides in his food preparation.

• Showcase of winning video along with poster and artwork entries for the Earth Day Art, Photo and Video Contest. See the art and posters in the University Bookstore’s south window. The winning video plays at 4 p.m. in Ballroom B followed by the announcement of poster and art winners.

• “Burning Our Future: Coal in America,” film showing, 4:30 p.m., Ballroom B. The story tells of West Virginia residents fighting the coal industry and the government to protect some 1.4 million acres of mountains and their way of life.

• “Saluki Green: Reducing Our Carbon Paw Print,” 6:30 p.m., Ballroom B. The panel will offer plans for reducing your carbon “paw” print and will answer audience questions about sustainability, the environment, Earth Day or other relevant topics.

Sponsors of Earth Day 2010 are the SIUC Student Center, Eco Dawgs and Sierra Club. The Sustainability Council is providing partial funding.

For more information, look online at www.siucstudentcenter.org or call 618/453-1142.