CSUN to Celebrate Earth Day 2013

Orange Picking

Volunteers picking oranges in 2011 on behalf of the Institute for Sustainability. The oranges were donated to Food Forward. Photo by John DuBois.

California State University, Northridge will celebrate Earth Day 2013 with a campus fair featuring free food, music, airbrush tattoos, crafts and games to bring environmental awareness to faculty, staff and students.

Earth Fair, sponsored by Associated Students, will be held Thursday, April 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Bayramian Hall Lawn and will be run entirely on biodiesel fuel generators. Fifty vendors, all of whom aim to create a sustainable lifestyle, will be present to provide opportunities for creating a healthy environment.

“It’s important for students to see the different organizations that help make the world a better place,” said Austin Ysais, one of the event organizers.

The fair will kick-off with yoga at 10 a.m. Other highlights of the day include an interactive 100-foot art wall extending from the walkway of the Delmar T. Oviatt Library to Sierra Hall and a confessional booth where attendees can write their “sins against Mother Nature.”

Cal State Northridge will join more than one billion people around the world to celebrate the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day on April 22. Across the globe, individuals, communities, organizations, and governments acknowledge the planet and take action to protect it. The Earth Day event is just one example of CSUN’s dedication to sustainability.

CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison recently signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. The ACUPCC brings together a network of institutions from throughout the United States dedicated to accelerating progress towards climate neutrality and sustainability by empowering the higher education sector to educate students, create solutions and provide leadership-by-example for the rest of society.

As part of CSUN’s commitment, the university’s Institute for Sustainability and its partners have developed a sustainability plan for the campus that includes energy, buildings, transportation and other areas related to carbon emissions. Through energy initiatives going back over a decade, CSUN has already gained national attention as one of the most sustainable universities in the CSU system.

“CSUN has already begun to take the necessary steps to meet its obligation under this agreement,” said Helen Cox, director of the Institute for Sustainability. She noted that Cal State Northridge has already introduced initiatives like the Transit Station to encourage faculty, students and staff to use public transportation and policies that ensure that new campus construction is built to meet or exceed U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver standards. The university’s Valley Performing Arts Center and the Student Recreation Center both meet LEED Gold standard.

“The signing of this agreement demonstrates presidential leadership and commitment on this important issue to the campus and the larger community,” Cox said. “It shows students and others that we recognize the seriousness of climate change and its consequences.

In addition to the fair, the Institute for Sustainability and Food Forward will host an orange-picking event on April 21 from 9 a.m. to noon and 12:30 to 3 p.m. in the CSUN orange grove. All of the fruit will be donated to local food pantries to help feed thousands in honor of Earth Day. To register for the morning or afternoon session, sign up on the Food Forward website. For more information, visit the Institute for Sustainability website.

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