Earth Day features art, ‘green’ lifestyle

Joey Leonard


Joey Leonard

Catherine Robledo

Recycled and eco-friendly painted bags hung from trees in front of the Library Quad, supported by organizations such as Associated Students, Inc., and the University Union to promote environmental sustainability for Earth Day.

University Union Director Bill Olmsted said the Union is working on an awareness campaign to promote the new mixed recycling program in the building and will relabel all of its recycling containers to make them easier to spot.

Olmsted said the Union is also installing variable frequency drives, a system controlling the rotational speed of an electric motor that allows motors in major pieces of equipment to only run at the amount needed to satisfy the demand at the time.

Olmsted said without the variable frequency drives, equipment would run at 100 percent any time the system was on, even when only 10 percent of the energy was needed.

“So, during a Sacramento summer we save a significant amount of money by reducing our power demands when the cooling towers and the chiller are running over 12 hours per day,” Olmsted said.

Olmsted said the Union is also going to participate in a program hosted by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, an electric utility company that provides power to the Sacramento-area, to replace all of the lighting from T8 fixtures to T12 fixtures.

According to the food service warehouse website, T12 fixtures are lamp tubes with a one and a half inch diameter and a T8 fixture is a lamp tube that is narrower, making it more energy-efficient.

“We essentially get a higher output of light, a bulb that is more environmentally friendly, and up to a 40 percent reduction in energy costs,” Olmsted said.

He said having Earth Day is important to spotlight problems and find answers to deal with them.

“If the University Union and other entities on campus set good examples and stay consistent with our efforts, Earth Day can become more of a celebration of those efforts and less of a wake-up call,” Olmsted said.

To promote Earth Day, art depicting environmental issues was displayed in the Library Quad on April 22.

Kathryn Kay, ASI academic affairs vice president, said the student government decided to use a big green ball of yarn called the “Green Stream” that encourages people to live green.

“To live green, it’s something that should be done every day. It should not be done just one or two days,” Kay said.

Kay said students can do simple things to help the environment like buying green test booklets instead of blue test booklets on campus, driving less and drinking water out of containers that are not plastic.

Sarah Saldibar, junior psychology major, has been trying to help the environment by recycling.

Alex Neiswender, Environmental Student Organization vice president, said he believes art projects could be very effective in promoting awareness for ongoing environmental issues.

“In viewing art, a student is called to not only see from the artist’s perspective, but their own,” Neiswender said. “Art in that way allows for a deeper connection with the material at hand.”

The organization tabled in the Library Quad and composed environmental questions on a wheel for students to spin, where they gained knowledge about an environmental issue.

Neiswender said the organization has found interactive learning to be more efficient in promoting environmental issues than handing out flyers to passing students.

“We all know where those papers go, and it’s not usually the recycling bin,” Neiswender said.

Neiswender said the organization is working to interact with the community through demonstration because it will provide necessary background information for the student to make his or her own conscientious decisions.

“Our world as we know it is constantly changing due to anthropogenic causes. It’s important for students to know how they are contributing to this change,” Neiswender said.

Catherine Robledo can be reached at [email protected].