Conference to close Earth Week

Carrie Whitaker and Carrie Whitaker

As Earth Week comes to a close, the Environmental Action Group will present a mini-conference Saturday. The conference will educate students on some simple ways they can help the environment, members of EAG said.

“The conference … is going to provide a rich array of important and thought-provoking information in a fairly short amount of time,” Jeannie Ludlow, interim director of Women’s Studies and speaker at the conference, said. “It’s a great way to take a break from the stress of end-of-semester work and learn more about our amazing lives in the process.”

The conference, which will run from 1-5 p.m. in room 208 of the Union, is split up into five different parts, including a recycling workshop, a bookmaking workshop, seminar on low-impact camping, seminar on ecofeminism and a presentation on environmental effects of the war.

The recycling workshop will focus on the process of recycling, explaining how the recycling center on campus runs and describing why recycling is important, EAG member Julie Schwenning said.

“It’s about conserving resources,” Schwenning said. “We are depleting resources so quickly, and this will show students how not to deplete resources.”

Jaclyn Mercede, who is in charge of the bookmaking workshop, said this section of the conference will promote the idea of reusing materials.

“Too many people think they have to buy new things,” Mercede said. “We have so much garbage in our landfills that we don’t use and could be reusing.”

The third part of the conference, a seminar on low-impact camping, will be led by Bryan Cavins, director of Outdoor Programs.

This seminar will provide examples of how people can minimize their environmental impacts through the application of seven principles, Cavins said.

“It is designed to clarify questions about what to do with extra food, how to take a bath and where to put up a tent, among others,” Cavins said.

Ludlow, who will present the lecture on ecofeminism, said people need to learn about the earth to better understand themselves. “We need to realize that taking appropriate care of ourselves is the exact same thing as respecting the earth and not destroying it,” she said.

The conference has been planned to give students the opportunity to learn things about environmentalism and how they can help the earth, Deanna Lance, president of EAG said.

“We hope students will learn a little bit more about things they can do to help the earth,” Lance said. “The environment impacts us all. So we should go out and find what we can do to make our lives better by helping the environment.”

What can we do for the earth?

There are small things we can do to keep from harming the environment. If you feel motivated, here are some ways you can help.

* Do everything you can to avoid purchasing, using, and throwing away plastic or styrofoam. This could mean using refillable coffee mugs or reusable plates and flatware. Or you could buy colas in a can and not a plastic bottle. Even recycling plastics is more difficult than recycling metal, glass, or paper.

* Whenever you can, buy things that are used. A lof of energy is wasted making new items. If you want a hat, shoes, or even a phone you could go to Goodwill or the Salvation Army and check out their merchandise.

* Try to eat and shop as locally as possible. Rather than buying a shirt that is made of fabric woven in Asia, dyed in Northern Africa and pieced together in Central America, buy one that is fully made in the United States. Think of the gas you save in shipping alone if you buy things made in the United States.

* Try to reduce use of non-renewable energy sources, including oil and gasoline. Cut down on the amount of time you drive or try to organize carpools.

Information contributed by Jeannie Ludlow, interim director of Women’s Studies