BY: VIVIAN GATICA
The “Go Green” trend goes beyond the reusable water bottles, recycling, and beach clean-ups. It is a movement that launched on April 22, 1970 to fight for the Earth, raise awareness of environmental problems, and give people a sense of urgency to act upon them. Earth Day is a representation of the strength of this movement and the continuous determination of honoring and protecting the planet in order to make it a safe place to live.
"Environmental problems do not go away like an illness," Associated Students, Inc. Commissioner of Conservation Alben Phung said. “They will persist and will become a bigger problem if ignored.”
Cal State Long Beach has recognized the importance of leaving a clean ecological footprint, and has made it a priority to make the campus eco-friendly. Refill stations are available campus-wide for water bottles, bike maintenance stations are available to encourage students to bike to school, and there are even solar panels that provide electricity to Brotman Hall, the Facilities Management Corporations Yard, and the Vivian Engineering Center.
Projects and initiatives underway to make CSULBa “green campus” include more energy efficient lighting around campus, the implementation of drip irrigations systems, and the installation of more Electric Vehicle charging units in parking lots across campus.
“The job towards sustainability is really never ever completed, so our efforts continue,” CSULBenergy and sustainability manager Paul Wingcosaid.
Each year, the Environmental Science and Policy Club on campus hosts an Earth Day celebration known as Earth Week. Last year, there was environmental information tabling, along with an eco-friendly fashion show called (Eco)uture. The opening event this year will be a Green Generation Mixer where various speakers will demonstrate their environmental projects, and show how the CSULB and the city of Long Beach have become more sustainable. The Earth Day celebration will take place on April 18 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will also be a Recycling Information and Green Job Fair event on April 22.
“These programs present students with information that will help them address environmental issues, and lessen the negative impact on the local environment and the planet as a whole, as well as opportunities to get involved and volunteer with local environmental organizations committed to sustainability and improving the local environment,” CSULBEnvironmental Science and Policy club president Nicholas Thibeault said.
One of the highlights of Earth Week on campus will be the Green Technology Expo on April 29. Participants will display a variety of creative green technology projects in wind, solar, kinetic, and zero waste technology. According to Phung, the main purpose of the event is to expose students to environmental projects that they are not aware of.
“Technology is a neutral item, if people do not know how to use it or know about the technology then it is useless,” Phung said. “We want to get students exposed to these future technologies, as well as inspire creativity in their everyday lives.”
This year, Earth Day will take place on April 22, the day of the first celebrated Earth Day more than 40 years ago. It is a day to appreciate nature’s beauty and the environment that surrounds us. Phungsaid that CSULB’s Earth Day celebration is an opportunity to enlighten the people living on the Earth to take action to protect it.
“Every aspect of life has a strong relationship with Earth,” Phung said. “We need to be stewards of this Earth, and to ensure that this natural beauty is not destroyed by its own guests.”