Earth Day festival to encourage sustainability

Quiche Matchen

Although Earth Day has passed, WKU still has the chance to celebrate with the Earth Day festival.

The Office of Sustainability and GreenToppers Students for Campus Sustainability will be hosting the annual Earth Day festival from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. today in Centennial Mall. The festival will include music, activities, food, giveaways and more.

Louisville sophomore Kelly Del Grosso, co-president of GreenToppers, said this is the sixth year for the festival and there will be about 40 participants there.

The GreenToppers will have their own table at the event.

“We want to make students aware and get students to use less plastic bottles and use reusable plastic instead,” she said.

Another GreenToppers co-president, Richmond sophomore Matthew Frazier, said the group will have a demonstration about plastic bottles.

“The goal of the demonstration is to show how many plastic bottles are wasted,” he said. “Every second, 700 water bottles are thrown into a landfill.”

He said the group will have 700 bottles to show students how many it really is. Frazier said the group decided collectively to chose plastic bottles for a demonstration.

He said the average person wastes 300 plastic bottles in a year.

“We thought it was a big issue that would be easy to tackle,” he said. “We’re hoping our demonstration will inspire at least one person so that it will eliminate 300 plastic bottles being wasted.”

Del Grosso said they want students to get information about organizations and issues on campus.

“Because campus sustainability affects everyone,” she said.

She said she hopes students take the opportunity to be more environmentally friendly in the Bowling Green community.

Christian Ryan-Downing, WKU’s sustainability coordinator, said in an email students and other festival attendees can expect to learn how campus and community organizations are supporting sustainability.

“They can learn how to live more sustainably in their own lives and how to get involved in the activities that are going on around campus and beyond,” she said. “There are opportunities for sustainability education and awareness, but also the festival is an opportunity to celebrate all the work that folks are doing to advance sustainability on campus and in our community.”

Ryan-Downing said she hopes everyone enjoys the events.

“I hope that attendees are inspired to do more in their personal lives to live sustainably — to take care of our precious planet and all of the amazing organisms that we share it with,” she said.