Earth Day 2009 brings environmental awareness‚ fun to KSU community
Georgia (Apr 1, 2009) — The Kennesaw State University Campus Green was greener than usual April 22 when it served as the venue for the university’s Earth Day 2009 observance. Hosted by KSU’s Environmental Alliance (EA) — a student−led conservation activism group — the event was equal parts educational‚ practical and frivolous‚ with participants offering everything from composting demonstrations to recycled art to the latest in eco−friendly clothing.
As part of the festivities‚ KSU’s College of Science and Mathematics sponsored a lecture by Finnish−born sculptor Eino titled “Saving Earth & Renewable Resources — An Artist’s Perspective.”
“I sense a growing environmental awareness in the KSU student body‚” said R.C. Paul‚ KSU’s director of sustainability and faculty adviser for EA. “Within the current Environmental Alliance group in particular‚ I see an interesting mix of deep concern for the environmental challenges we face‚ along with a wonderful playfulness.”
Campus organizations KSUride.com — a university partner with CobbRides‚ a local nonprofit‚ clean−commute provider — and the KSU Bike Shop pitched opportunities for mass transit‚ carpooling and non−combustible modes of transportation.
The Cobb Alliance for Smart Energy and the Environmental Alliance passed out literature and solicited signatories to a petition objecting to the proposed construction of a coal−fired plant in Washington County‚ Georgia.
“Green” items like vegan and organic foods‚ organic−ink tie−dye T−shirts‚ natural soaps and reusable bags were given out‚ as were promotional freebies and discounts from local bike companies and outdoor outfitters. At the close of the Earth Day celebration‚ the KSU Cycling Club led a group of riders around the university to illustrate the health and ecological benefits of pedal power.
Eino is the creator of “Spaceship Earth‚” a 175−ton sculpture that is adjacent to KSU’s Social Sciences Building. In November 2000‚ he met renowned environmentalist and Sierra Club founder David Brower in California shortly before Brower’s death. It was at that meeting that Brower personally charged Eino with carrying on his conservation agenda.
The artist’s lecture focused on utilizing alternative energy from wind‚ solar and tidal sources‚ on taking personal responsibility for one’s environmental choices and on creating energy that is commercially viable for both the environment and for the people who create the energy.
“Dreamers can change the world because they look at the big picture‚” Eino said. “We need to get those people together with the scientists and engineers to address this problem. We’re using the same basic technology for our electricity that we did 128 years ago. We can’t go back to the horse and buggy days‚ but it’s possible that we can run out of energy.”
According to earthday.net‚ the official homepage of the movement‚ the first Earth Day was observed on April 22‚ 1970‚ and led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air‚ Clean Water‚ and Endangered Species acts.
As a signatory to the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment‚ KSU President Daniel S. Papp has worked to integrate sustainability into the university curriculum and to make it part of the educational experience.
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.