By Ruby Dickson
Greenfire, a student organization devoted to promoting environmentally sustainable life choices, hosted the annual Earth Day festival last Saturday, April 25. This event was organized in order to celebrate the planet and engage community members in activies related to the club’s mission.
Although the official date of Earth Day 2015 was Wednesday, April 22, Greenfire concentrated their celebratory efforts throughout the week, ending with Saturday’s festival. This year’s Earth Day celebrations served as an important milestone for the organizations and for Lawrence. Greenfire President and junior Isabel Dammann confirmed that “This year was Greenfire’s 25th year as a club and I believe also hosting an Earth Day celebration, so it was a big year for us to celebrate!”
Greenfire organized a series of bands to play, and invited Lawrence organizations to host tables at the event,
In Dammann’s words, “Earth Day is always a collaborative event for Lawrentians to appreciate the Earth in different ways, so we always try to get as many student groups involved as possible.”
The festival kicked off at 1 p.m. on the Main Hall green. Three bands played over the course of the day. Cross Record, a musical duo, traveled from their Texas ranch to perform and took time to share with students how they themselves practice sustainability. In addition, two campus bands, The Broken Mandolins and The Gritz, performed on the Main Hall steps.
Sophomore Kyler Ward attended the event and enjoyed the music. “The bands were really great, and it’s always awesome to have live music.”
Arts and crafts were also a large part of this year’s event, with many opportunities to pick up a new skill or souvenir. Student representatives of organizations such as Sustainable Lawrence University Garden (SLUG), Food Recovery Network and the Lawrence Geological Society set up tables along the sidewalk with environmental-themed activities. The student-led Magpie Thrift Store, for example, offered students the opportunity to make their own headbands out of recycled materials, while People for Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) encouraged students to plant seeds in recycled cups.
Another important factor in this year’s Earth Day celebrations was food. Students could munch on earth-friendly snacks such as chips and dip, all prepared and brought by Greenfire members. Students were encouraged to be mindful of the impact their diets can have on the environment in observance of Earth Day.
Community members who attended the festival generally expressed enthusiasm about its success. Dammann noted “while the weather was a bit chillier than we had hoped, it proved to still be a fun and successful event.”