Respect Your Mother

EcoPalooza left its mark on Santa Monica College on Tuesday, April 21 with booths, bikes and bubble machines all in honor of Earth Day. However, the theme of the day was not earth, rather, it was education.

The event featured a treasure hunt, where students had to go up to each booth, ask a question on the environment or sustainability and get a stamp from the person running the booth. Each student who filled his/her paper received a raffle ticket.

The Sierra Club, founded in 1893 by John Muir, still holds on strong to his philosophy. Muir felt that people need to experience the wilderness in order to protect it. "We still take people out to nature and when they get motivated we go OK, what would you like to get started on as your project," said Judy Anderson, a member of the Sierra Club.

Muir also believed strongly that everything is connected to everything else, and in order for us to survive, we need to take care of the resources we have. "We really are all interdependent," said Anderson. For more information on hikes and nature visits please go to www.sierraclub.org

The most popular booth at the festival was ZJ Boarding House, a surf shop that turns recycled water bottles into board shorts and car tires into flip-flops.

"Skateboarders use the streets, snowboarders use the snow and surfers use the ocean," said Noah Lewkow, a buyer for ZJ. "We got to keep that space clean since we're using the environment." ZJ is located on 2619 Main St.

Although there were many bike booths, one of the most hands-on stations was the Bike Blender. As students took turns riding the stationary bike with a blender attached to the back, they were able to make, and later drink, their own smoothies.

"It's pretty interesting, actually kind of a work out," said engineering major Hudson Wilson as he got off the bike. "It's impractical definitely."

"But it's fun and now you get how much energy it takes to run a blender," Genevieve Burton, sustainability coordinator, responded to him.

Another interactive spot was the Eco Action Club's, where students were painting bottles to promote awareness. The bottles were then attached to a sculpture that will be placed over the water-refilling station inside the cafeteria. The sculpture will be filled with facts about water bottle waste and hung over the station with bottles pointing in the direction of the trashcan.

The quad was transformed and each tent was shooting out facts and information at every turn, but one of the most helpful hints came from Brad Edwards from Helen's Cycles. "People keep asking me why biking is good for the environment. Well because it helps reduce use of fossil fuels and it helps decongest our roadways."

"They also ask, 'how do I ride a bike and stay safe?'" Edwards tells them to "obey the rules of the road, stop at stop signs and stay off the sidewalk."

EcoPalooza was a celebration of the earth, but it was also a reminder of what we have to do to keep the earth alive and well.

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