At USF, the earth means the world to us, and last Tuesday Apr. 22, students, faculty, and community members had the chance to prove that sentiment by celebrating Earth Day on Gleeson Plaza. Nearly thirty tables from clubs and outside organizations promoting a sustainable world attended the event. There were also food trucks, face painting, henna, baby goats, and free tea samples.
Recology, a San Francisco waste management and recycle company, promoted their movement to turn the city into a “zero waste” city by discussing their commitment to reducing, reusing, and recycling.
The resident district manager for Bon Appetit USF’s dining services company, Holly Winslow, was present to promote recycling with a shocking display of all the used to-go containers that USF students go through in a single day.
Winslow also works with other schools in the region like UC Berkeley and Mills College to eliminate the use of to-go and prepared food containers.
Junior communication studies major Andrea Hill said she was shocked by the amount of waste that comes from the students at our school, especially since USF encourages sustainable practices.
Hill, who is an environmental studies minor, is working this summer with the USF Environmental Safety Office in hopes of eliminating to-go containers at USF for the fall semester. “Next year the dining hall may use reusable containers with bar codes instead of the packaged material they use now,” she said.
The USF Environmental Justice and Outdoors Club collaborated with Green Peace, an independent direct-action environmental organization, at Earth Day to start a movement to ask Bon Appetit to stop serving canned tuna that is not sustainably harvested. Green Peace handed out stickers and T-shirts to students in order to spread the message.
In addition to all the information, USF Earth Day had a lot of fun activities and entertainment for students, as well. Students were able to pet baby goats from City Grazing and take in a surprising flash mob dance coordinated by fellow USF students. Local band Ivory Arrows provided live music and students were able to blend their own smoothie through a bicycle-powered blender.
“Earth Day is important because it allows people to be part of planet and be more interactive,” said Hill. “We as a community are working towards a better future and a better planet.”