Early Earth Day celebration a Vol State hit

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(Pictured: Earth Day chalk drawing near the Duffer Plaza.  Photo by: Shannon Feaganes.)

By: Shannon Feaganes, Web Editor

On Wednesday, April 20, Volunteer State Community College had an Earth Day event in the Duffer Plaza from 11 – 2 p.m. Team Change sponsored the event.

There were booths set up around the plaza, and at each booth attendees were given a ticket. After an attendee had collected three tickets, they could redeem them for a free lunch of pizza, punch and lemonade.

There was a sidewalk chalk booth, where attendees could draw on the plaza sidewalk. Team Change members had drawn a demonstration of various countries’ ecological footprints.

There was also an adopt-a-stream booth, which encouraged students, local businesses and organizations to adopt local streams, rivers and lakes to manage litter buildup.

Attendees mixed Hummingbird Mix Wildflower Blend with clay and fertilizer to create plant-able pods.

There were seed packets for attendees to take home, including marigolds, daisies and sunflower seeds. At the same booth was paper made from recycled notepaper and seeds. After the paper was used, it could be planted rather than thrown away.

The next booth encouraged students to take the sustainability pledge, which required the completion of at least four activities which reduce energy consumption, including turning off the light when the last person in the room leaves and unplugging/turning off electrical devices when not in use.

“We had more people than last year, and I think it’s because we were actually outside,” said Le-Ellen Dayhuff, Professor of Mathematics, “Over 100 people took the [sustainability] pledge this year.”

Campus police featured a cardboard box labeled “Drug Take Back.” Drug Take Back encouraged students to donate their unused and expired prescription medication to the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office in Gallatin for incineration.

“We get 30 pounds of pills per month,” said Sergeant Keith Bean of the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office. “We incinerate them to keep them from contaminating the water supply and air.”

At 1p.m. the event featured speaker Jeff Barri from the Tennessee Environmental Council, who spoke about sustainability and the Council’s efforts to protect the environment, including the planting of 50,000 trees in Tennessee back in February.

“Sustainability goes hand-in-hand with technology,” said Barri, “We install coir logs, which are a form of biotechnology made from organic material that we install along the banks of rivers where it’s eroding. Most people don’t realize that erosion is actually a large contributor to water pollution.”

Towards the end of the event, Team Change provided over 100 free, small trees to students, including dogwood, redwood, pine, and oak.