The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Earth Day event brings sustainability awareness to campus

Photo by Photo by Brandon Holmes

Aggies around campus celebrated Earth Day by setting up tables in Rudder Plaza to connect with the student body.

The Environmental Issues Committee (EIC) hosted its annual Earth Day event at Rudder Plaza Monday, featuring interactive booths hosted by organizations throughout the community.
Taking place the day after Earth Day, the event had a national parks theme, aimed to raise awareness to the role of these parks, according to programming director of EIC and bioenvironmental sciences and wildlife and fisheries sciences senior Caralie Brewer.
“We are trying to get more people into national parks by mirroring the ‘Find Your Park’ initiative in the national parks centennial program,” Brewer said.
“Sea turtles vs. Straws” was the theme of one of the tables present at Earth Day, showcasing a project started by Girl Scout cadettes Zella McNichols and Zoe King. According to McNichols, the girls saw a video of the harm that plastic straws can cause sea turtles and decided to do something about it.
McNichols said “Sea turtles vs. Straws” partners with restaurants by asking them if they will switch to paper straws, or have an ask-only policy with plastic straws.
“We use an average of 500 million straws everyday — that’s enough to fill over 125 school buses,” McNichols said. “More than half of those straws end up in the ocean. My project is to bring awareness to the straws and the sea turtles, and it’s to try to reduce the number of straws we use.”
Events like this are important for gaining publicity for sustainability issues, according to molecular and cell biology sophomore and intern for the Office of Sustainability Riley Richardson.
“I’m pretty passionate about the environment,” Richardson said. “I want to see the earth last longer than the rate that it’s going at now. I want to be part of the change that increases the longevity of the earth and also our population.”
Accounting sophomore Jordan Bounds was at the event representing Replant, an organization which coordinates the largest one-day student-led environmental service project in the nation.
“Replant day is in the fall and is basically a day when hundreds of people go out and plant trees in the parks and even homes of people in the Bryan-College Station community,” Bounds said.
Geology junior David Valerio represented the Aggie Green Fund, a group of students, faculty and staff who fund sustainability projects on the A&M campus.
“Thus far we’ve given out about 1.7 million dollars in grants in our seven-year history,” Valerio said. “We encourage innovation, we encourage students to apply — anything that’s related to sustainability will have a big impact on campus, we want people to apply for those.”
Earth Day celebrations and similar events increase student awareness of specific environmental services available at the university, according to Valerio.
“Earth Day is really important for environmental sustainability and it keeps us aware of our impact on campus, especially here at A&M,” Valerio said. “We’re a huge campus, we have a lot of students and we need to keep in mind that we affect the environment in different ways and we should try to protect it.”

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  • Aggies around campus celebrated Earth Day by setting up tables in rudder plaza to connect with the student body.

    Photo by Photo by Brandon Holmes

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