Although NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has identified more than 2,300 potential planet candidates outside of our solar system, this earth is still the only place we know of that sustains life. So we might as well take care of it — at least until April 4, 2063, when, according to some Star Trek fans, Zefram Cochrane makes the world’s first successful warp-drive flight. Besides, most of us have grown attached to this place, and we wouldn’t leave, even if we had the chance.
In observance of Earth Day, biology students at Northwest Campus banded together to offer green-living tips, fun activities and free hot dogs to their fellow earthlings. Participants were invited to make crafts, including pine-cone birdfeeders, customized reusable grocery bags, and painted Earth Day rocks. TCC student Laura Dang chose to paint a hippo on her rock because the animal has become a symbol for her family.
“They don’t get enough love,” she said. “They need love, too.” If you don’t count the mosquito, then the hippopotamus could be considered the deadliest animal on the planet. So maybe the hippo is worthy of more respect. However, I didn’t spot anyone painting pictures of mosquitoes on the rocks.
Other students demonstrated the free, clean power of the sun by constructing solar ovens and baking cookies with them. Northwest Campus student Mark Smith told me that a properly constructed solar oven can cook an entire roast in about five hours. I plan on doing my part to save the earth by eating cookie dough straight from the container and lying in the sun.
Northwest Campus President Elva LeBlanc was on hand to help plant a tree, and she also participated in a unique guerilla-gardening technique when the crowd released biodegradable balloons filled with helium and wildflower seeds. Biology instructor Miranda Newberry told me she went to great lengths to choose the environmentally friendly balloons, which were launched without strings.
As the balloons were whisked aloft by the wind, many walked away wondering where the seeds might take root — perhaps in an abandoned parking lot, or on a rolling hillside, or maybe even Saginaw. Others walked away remembering some important lessons — like consume less, re-use more and fear the mighty hippo.
See more Earth Day Festival pictures below.