Blue + Gold = Green
A famous frog once sang that it's not easy being green, but members of the UCLA community are about to prove him wrong.
"Bruin Earth Day is an annual festival that allows students to have fun while learning about the environment," said Saira Gandhi, a fourth-year student in international development studies and chair of the task force.
By Wendy Soderburg, Originally published in UCLA Today
Earth Day 2007 is coming up on April 22, and UCLA's Earth Day Task Force has been hard at work planning events for Bruin Earth Day. In fact, members of the task force — which includes representatives from 15 student groups — have come up with a full week's worth of free activities that will be showcased during "Blue + Gold = Green Week."
"Bruin Earth Day is an annual festival that allows students to have fun while learning about the environment," said Saira Gandhi, a fourth-year student in international development studies and chair of the task force. "For the past three years, environmentally and socially conscious student groups at UCLA have united to create a coalition that sponsors the events of Earth Day."
The centerpiece of "Blue + Gold = Green Week" is the Earth Day Festival, set for April 19 in Bruin Plaza, which will offer a variety of opportunities for staff, faculty and students to learn about sustainability. A representative from The Climate Project, for example, will speak to festival-goers about the dangers of global warming.
Participants will be invited to apply their creative skills in transforming discarded objects into works of art at a "Trash Art" competition and exhibition. The evening will feature a screening of "Black Gold," a film about fair trade practices in the coffee industry, in Moore 100.
"One idea that will inspire discussion and action is a Student Sustainability Solutions Board," said Dorothy Le, co-chair of Ecology, Economy, Equity and an environmental science major. "This will be a large poster set up in Bruin Plaza where students can write their thoughts and ideas about the challenge of environmental responsibility in today's world."
Ongoing events throughout Spring Quarter include two lecture series sponsored by UCLA's Institute of the Environment: "Environment 185: Sustainability Speaker Series" and "Environment 170: Environmental Science Colloquia." Both free and open to the UCLA community, they feature experts on topics ranging from transportation solutions for Angelenos to the decline of Earth's snow and ice.
In the meantime, ASUCLA staff members are proving that they, too, can be green. The UCLA Store has stocked its shelves with earth-friendly products such as Seventh Generation paper towels and toilet tissue; Planet laundry detergent; Natrics cleaning products; Green Apple school supplies (rulers, highlighters, pencils, ballpoint pens); Environotes (spiral notebooks, index cards, filler and computer paper); and Windpower sketchbooks. These items are identified by special "Think Green" shelf tags.
The UCLA Computer Store also has an Electronics Trade-In Program that features a Web site (http://ucla.eztradein.com/ucla/) where customers can enter information about their used electronic equipment — from computers to cameras — and calculate the estimated trade-in value that the store will remit in a UCLA Store gift card.
Even food figures into the green equation, as several ASUCLA restaurants feature healthy and/or organic food. The aptly named Greenhouse boasts a healthy foods bar on the first level of Ackerman Union. North Campus Student Center, the Bombshelter and Kerckhoff Coffeehouse offer Organic To Go prepacked sandwiches and salads, and Kerckhoff also sells prepacked organic cereals. And all ASUCLA coffeehouse locations offer Fair Trade Coffee and Numi Organic Teas.
"We also have a refillable mug program," said Lisa Perez, director of marketing for ASUCLA. "When you purchase our ceramic mug or travel mug — also known as the library mug because it is permitted in the library — you will receive a discounted refill price when you order coffee at any ASUCLA coffeehouse."
Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2007