On Wednesday, April 17, 2019, Indiana State University hosted an Earth Day Fair at the quad. The fair began at 11 a.m. and ended approximately 3 p.m. Students were able to come and check in at the front booth and then explore all that the fair had to offer.
Earth Day at ISU began in 2009 as a speaker series in the Biology department and has expanded each year to encompass more aspects of sustainability. Today, Earth Day is a celebration open to both campus and the community. Earth Day 2019 included outdoor games, live entertainment, more than 50 local businesses and organizations offering educational activities about sustainability, an outdoor picnic catered by Sodexo, an environmentally focused Workshop Wednesday through the Career Center, and an evening activity.
There were several booths set up in support of Earth Day on campus. Most of the booths were campus related organizations, such as Barnes and Noble and a Massage Therapy booth with students majoring in massage therapy here at ISU. The booths set up were focused on raising awareness on being environmentally friendly. One of the booths handing out metal straws were there to inform the community of saving the turtles. Another booth was giving away plants. When approaching this booth, students were told what each plant was, how to care for the plant, and the benefits the plant has to the environment. Not everyone who visited this booth was able to take a plant home with them, due to a short supply. Lots of the other booths were handing out flyers about ecofriendly activities or tasks that can be taken to keep the environment safe and clean, as well as candy and bracelets about awareness.
“I enjoyed being able to take some time out of my day to enjoy being outside and walk around campus in honor of Earth Day. I am really excited to finally have a metal straw. I also think it’s pretty cool that I can call myself a plant dad now,” Jacob Girten said with enthusiasm.
A big chunk of the fair was focused on Sycamore Closet and Sycamore Secondhand. Both of these organizations are new to ISU. Sycamore Closet was started for students to bring their old spirit wear or any other clothes they are no longer using to resell. Sycamore Secondhand is another new organization started for students to bring their gently used dorm items at the end of the school year to resell at the beginning of fall semester for those in need. These booths are both intended to show students that the reuse of items is not only convenient, but ecofriendly by the reuse of products still in good shape rather than throwing them away.
“To me, Earth Day is a celebration of nature and its beauty. Seeing all the booths support this day made me feel proud to be a Sycamore,” said freshman, Caroline Cleaver.
Katie Uttich, Res life assistant director, won the Staff Sustainabiliy Leadership Award for her work with the pledge against straws. Which ISU won and is rumored to have broken the website.