SMC Sustainability Fair Has Club Announce School's Transition to Paper Straws

 Ugly Produce booth at the Santa Monica Sustainability Fair on Santa Monica College's Main Campus in Santa Monica, California on Tuesday, April 17th 2018. (Fernanda Rivera/Corsair Photo)

Ugly Produce booth at the Santa Monica Sustainability Fair on Santa Monica College's Main Campus in Santa Monica, California on Tuesday, April 17th 2018. (Fernanda Rivera/Corsair Photo)

Earth Week is in full throttle at Santa Monica College with the annual sustainability fair that occurred between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. this Tuesday, April 17. Tents and numerous sustainable solutions filled the quad for the Sustainability Fair on this windy Tuesday. This year also brought a significant development, with the club Plastic Free SMC announcing in the fair that they convinced all of the campus vendors to exchange their plastic straws for paper ones.

The sustainability fair focused mostly on solutions for environmental issues, with everything from putting a stop to single-use plastics, to riding a bike to school and locally grown produce. “As a student, you or faculty at SMC get access $7 per month rate, which is really cheap and it comes with 90 minutes per day,” said Lauren Uba of Breeze Bike share.

Breeze was not the only ones offering a discount. “For the students we offer, besides already being about 30-percent cheaper than in the supermarket prices, it’s another 33-percent permanent discount,” said Daniela Dovganych of Imperfect produce.

Along the quad, students tried variations of chocolate and fruit from locally owned farms, and there was an organic food truck parked at the end. Most of the non-profit organizations had come to raise awareness and to spread the word of what they do, and what people can do to help with the environmental issues.

“We are fighting food waste,” Dovganych said, explaining how the company rescues “ugly” produce from farmers that are otherwise thrown away. "The reasons why this food is thrown away are ridiculous, it is either [the] wrong shape or size or has minor discoloration, nothing that affects the flavor, so what we do is we buy that good stuff from farmers and deliver it directly to people's houses”.

There were a lot of students interested in the event and among those were Bridgette Marquette and Tiegan Siarset, who had come with their English class. “I think it was really eye-opening overall,” said Marquette as she was drinking from her metal straw that she had gotten from the club, Plastic Free SMC.

Some of the other foundations at the event were, "Tree People," who focus on planting trees, "Surfrider Foundation," who work towards protecting local beaches and oceans, and "Sierra Club," who want to open up the discussion of climate change.

One booth held "Beyond the Label," an organization focusing on sustainable fashion. “We are a charitable organization that is based in LA and we promote and educate about sustainable fashion, because the fashion industry is one of the top five industries polluting our earth, and we are trying to put an end to that," said Audrey Stanton of Beyond the Label.

To find out more about all the events that are planned for SMC's Earth Week, you can visit their website.