Students and community members of all ages came together on Bayramian Lawn during California State University, Northridge’s Earth Fair.
The Earth Fair, hosted by Associated Students (AS) Productions, was free to attendees. The event aimed to bring awareness of how to live sustainably and help the environment to the student population by combining art, music, education and sustainable initiatives.
“It’s crazy that students don’t know what they’re doing and how sustainable this campus is. This is a way for them to find out, to be a part of it, to have a voice and voice their concerns,” said AS Productions Graduate Assistant Kira Paczkowski. “It’s a way to get their foot in the door if they’re unsure.”
Paczkowski said this year focused on climate change as well as transportation, waste, water, energy and food.
Encompassing a majority of the lawn were booths where vendors from on and off campus such as CSUN’s Institute for Sustainability, Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, CSUN Outdoor Adventures among many others presented activities for fair attendees to play while trying samples, collecting free items and learning different ways to live sustainably. There were hammocks strung up and large beanbag chairs laid out in front of the stage for people to lounge on while enjoying live music from the bands playing throughout the day.
While she enjoyed the live music, Sienna Morales, a third-year marine biology major, said she liked that CSUN had an event like this because she went to a high school that showed a lot of interest in the environment.
“I like that they still do that even in colleges,” Morales said. “They put out that you should think about what’s going on around the world and not just about yourself.”
David Contreras, a sociology and Chicano/a Studies major, was passing by with his little sister when he decided to check out the festivities and ended up at the CSUN Aquatic Center’s painting table.
“[This event] is important because it helps us notice the the organic factors that play a part in this environment and bring awareness to sustainability,” Contreras said. “It’s a nice turnout and it’s kid friendly, so I appreciated that a lot.”
Students and community members were also given the opportunity to attend two separate speaker series located across campus in the University Student Union’s (USU) Northridge Center.
The first event, called Rain: A History for Stormy Times, was presented by Cynthia Barnett, an award-winning journalist. The event highlighted the history of our connection to the climate, bringing it together under the idea of climate change and nature as truth.
SILA and the Gatekeepers of the Arctic: A Feature Documentary Film was the second event. Director and producer Corina Gamma presented the film, which highlighted the impact of global warming on the once-thriving culture of the Arctic Inuit people.
Alexis Ramos, an undecided exploratory major who initially attended the fair to listen to the student speakers, said she wanted to see what else the fair had to offer.
“It’s an amazing event because I feel like we’re stuck on our phones and we don’t pay attention,” Ramos said. “It’s kind of an eye-opener when they listen to people on how they can save energy. It brings us all together and you can find where you belong in some sense.”
Austin Ysais, program coordinator for AS Productions, said he believes the Earth Fair benefits the campus, students and surrounding community because people are able to learn how they can contribute to sustaining our Earth and the quality of life that we have.
“This is a great event that helps promote all the wonderful things this community is doing,” Ysais said. “And the more students that hear about this, the better.”