?Environmental degradation? exposed

Miriam Arghandiwal

Sacramento State was in frenzy Thursday as enthusiastic volunteers took over the Quad in an attempt to raise environmental awareness for Earth Day.

Alex Underwood, sophomore environmental studies major and vice president of the Environmental Student Organization, worked hard to recruit the volunteers for the event.

“We went out there and contacted these people one on one and asked if they would like to be part of Sac State’s Earth Day, most of them complied,” Underwood said.

Twenty-eight booths were set up in the Quad, with volunteers from Donate Life California, Peace and Conflict International and Women’s Studies Student Association.In addition to the 28 booths, the Environmental Student Organization also gathered three speaks who informed students about current obstacles the world is facing with its environment. The three speakers included two Sac State environmental studies professors Virginia Matzek and Michelle Stevens, as well as environmental expert, Barbra Johnson.

Although Earth Day is a one-day event, Underwood said she believes students at Sac State can take steps to help the Earth every day.

Underwood and the Environmental Student Organization have come up with a way to help students reduce their carbon footprints while on campus. She said the club has teamed up with Jamba Juice and Java City to encourage students to bring their own cups to school for the beverages they purchase. Both Jamba Juice and Java City will give a 10 percent discount on any purchase if customers supply their own cups, she said.

Underwood said 147,392 Jamba Juice smoothie cups are thrown away in an academic school year. Broken down, she said, that amounts to 9,212 cups a week and 1,535 cups a day.

If students were to visit Jamba Juice with their own cup daily, they would save anywhere between $80 and $93 depending on their drink of choice, Underwood said.

“When you put something in numbers, like waste, students are more likely to see the how drastic the environmental degradation can be,” she said.

Karina Oropeza, volunteer and sophomore anthropology major, said conserving the Earth for future generations was one important fact she tried to get across to her fellow students on Earth Day.

“I want my kids to see and have the natural things I had growing up and that won’t be possible if we don’t start preserving what we have,” Oropeza said.

Environmental studies professor Greg Popejoy said Earth Day is an important day for everybody, worldwide.

“Earth Day should really be the first international holiday. This is the only planet we have and we’re not taking that great of care of it,” he said.

Miriam Arghandiwal can be reached at [email protected]