ECO Students promote environmentally friendly lifestyle
April 23, 2010 5:57 PM
For anyone who's ever wondered where to find drum circles, free bike repairs, massages and crafts, the main lawn was the place to be Thursday when the Environmentally Concerned Organization of Students and a slew of on and off-campus organizations gathered to celebrate Earth Day and Bike to School Day.
In the weeks leading up to the dual purpose event, ECO Students encouraged members of the SF State community to ride their bikes to school on April 22 to help the environment and demonstrate the need for more bike racks on campus to administrators.
Cyclists began parking their bikes on the lawn as early as 8 a.m. in exchange for food donated by Noah's Bagels and the College of Health and Human Services, as well as tune-ups from Freewheel Bike Shop.
"Earth Day was started to raise awareness about the impacts of our actions on the environment and to celebrate the beauty and bounty Earth provides us," ECO Students Administrative Coordinator Allison Schentrup said. "We have made a particular effort to invite cultural groups on campus to raise awareness about the way Earth is treated in cultures other than our own."
"Overall I would say it's a very friendly reminder to get into shape and start taking care of ourselves and our planet better," ECO Students Facebook Coordinator Tia Tyler said. "When it comes to conservation I think the main issue is people don't know where to start and just need a little help to get the ball rolling."
This year's event marked the 40th anniversary of Earth Day and ECO Students celebrated in style by sharing the quad with a number of on-campus organizations including the International Education Exchange Council, InterVarsity, Fashion Network Association, Peer Educators Advocating Campus Health and UNICEF, as well as representatives from the Sierra Club and SF Environment -- a Bay Area organization that monitors SF State's recycling and composting efforts.
"We're promoting eco-friendly safe sex," PEACH volunteer Stacy Polos said referring to the vegan condoms and natural lubricant products featured at the group's table in Malcolm X Plaza. "I think the Earth is important and we should put out awareness about how to protect it and be good to it."
Across the lawn, SF State's Holistic Health Network offered free 5 to 10 minute massages and hosted a meditation tent where students could relax between classes. Passersby were also invited to contribute to a nature-themed mandala, or circular art piece, in honor of Earth Day.
"It's about fostering a connection between the internal world and external world," health education major Athena Barouxis said of the mandala, a collection of pinecones, abalone shells, branches and other natural materials. "It's about using art to heal ourselves and heal the Earth."
Back at the ECO Students table, where activities included face painting and crafts with used and recyclable materials, environmental studies major and club member Dani Lowther declared, "Everyday is Earth Day."
"Events like Earth Day celebrations most likely will not affect policy makers who could care less about the matter, but we can teach our fellow students the importance of swapping old clothes with friend rather than throwing them away, or how to compost correctly," Schentrup said. "We always have opportunities to educate and I feel it's most effective when those being educated are having fun in the process. "
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