North Texas Daily

Campus festival celebrated Earth Day

Campus festival celebrated Earth Day

April 23
07:39 2013

Courtney Garza

Staff Writer

EarthFest turned up the green volume on campus to celebrate Earth Day with Mean Green pride while teaching students how to be more sustainable.

Student Activities and the Office of Sustainability sponsored the event yesterday afternoon in the Library Mall from 4 to 7 p.m., where students ate free food and listened to live music.

In its fourth year, EarthFest has provided students with a way to join the sustainability community and a means to educate themselves with interactive demonstrations and entertainment.

Higher education master’s student Matthew De Los Reyes has attended in the past and enjoys seeing things from an organizational perspective serving as EarthFest’s coordinator. He said the festival coincides with the values of UNT.

“We’re really big on being green,” Reyes said. “It is one of the ways that brings the university together to get in the mindset of how we should live. We aim to push that out for people to take on their own.”

Each year about 4,000 students come support the green day.

Food waste from the event was used for composting to ensure a small carbon footprint from the event, and the entertainment provided insight into how to effectively use solar energy to power equipment.

The New York-based eco rock band Solar Punch used solar panels from a solar shuttle to make their show 100% solar powered. They performed songs that conveyed a message of being energy efficient, through their lyrics and aesthetics.

Solar Punch’s vocalist and guitarist Alan Bigelow is also UNT alum.

“We want to challenge the students to see if they are aware of environmental initiatives and how it’s really an important aspect of our present and future,” Bigelow said. “We are a rock band that never plugs into a wall, but instead uses renewable energy to be completely green. We want people to see that so they connect easier and see what renewable energy is.”

Students also took part in demonstrations from local vendors Natural Grocers and Vertical Gardens to shed some light on how to be more sustainable.

“The vendors will have a lot to teach and talk about not only regarding the environment but things like public health for students to engage in and easily apply to their daily lives,” said Nicole Cocco, outreach coordinator at the Office of Sustainability.

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