Earth-Friendly Living

Sunday marked the first day of New Paltz Earth Week 2012, dedicated to educating students on current environmental initiatives, catastrophes and how to live sustainably with at least one event each day during the week.

The New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) hosted New Paltz Earth Week 2012 to provide events for students on and off campus.

NYPIRG Project Coordinator Eric Wood said he hopes to inspire students to take action.

“College students are the beginning of movements,” Wood said. “We need students to take control of environmental degradation.”

The week began Sunday, April 22 with the Climate Action Coalition hosting the 10th Annual Earth Day Celebration kick-off.

Beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the New Paltz Reformed Church, students celebrated sustainability and earth-wise practices through festival activities including demonstrations, food, children’s activities and music by Vickie Russel, Betty & the Baby Boomers.

The Recycling Club hosted the Earth Day Carnival on Wednesday at the Student Union Concourse from 5 to 7 p.m. The carnival consisted of free food, games and prizes. Chances to win a new bike and clothing swapping, where students could swap a piece of their clothing for another’s, were also introduced as a fun activities.

Extreme Energy and the Fight For the Future was also held on Monday in the Lecture Center. The event centered around individuals fighting against hydraulic fracturing and nuclear power plants in New York, mountaintop removal in West Virginia and climate change on the planet. Speakers Donna Branham of Keeper of the Mountains and Wes Gillingham, a Catskill Mountain keeper, attended the event.

On Tuesday, April 24, NYPIRG’s Environmental Action Day in the Student Union Multipurpose Room brought live entertainment and guest lecturers speaking about topics of energy consumption, mountaintop removal, hydrofracking and changing to more environmentally friendly futures.

The Environmental Task Force and NYPIRG sponsored a touring of hydraulic-fracking sites in Dimock, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, April 25. The event brought activists, students and concerned citizens together for an eye-opening see-for-yourself event.

Caitlin O’Donnell, a second-year political science major, said everyone should attend the events to be educated on the
environmental issues.

“Students and community members can be reminded of how important it is to keep our environment safe from ecologically destructive practices and learn ways to live an environmentally friendly lifestyle,” O’Donnell said.