Claremont Celebrates Earth Week with a Flurry of Festivities

Earth Day on April 22 was just one day of seven in a week of eco-friendly festivities in Claremont.Earth Week started early on Saturday April 18 with the Inland Valley Student Environmental Justice Summit, organized by Pomona students and the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice in Riverside.  Students gathered from across the Inland Empire to organize, learn about local environmental justice issues and take a "toxics tour" of the most polluted areas of the Inland Valley. On Monday, Rose Hills Theatre screened the award-winning documentary "Bus Riders Union." Tuesday featured a lecture and discussion, "Environmental Justice 101," a lesson on green-themed table manners and the Earth Week Art Show. The art show opened in the Smith Campus Center, featuring refreshments and music from KSPC. Earth Day followed on Wednesday with an organic dinner, catered by the Shakedown and featuring a live band, and a green-themed pub night. Distinguished environmental justice scholar Dorceta Taylor gave a lecture on Thursday, "The Rise of the Environmental Justice Movement: From Toxics to Green Jobs," followed by a "Green Symposium" with organic wine and local cheese. At a ReCoop on Friday, Pomona asked students to give away their unnecessary clutter before the end of the year, so other students can reuse their things. Friday also boasted a screening of Planet Earth in the open air at Dom's Amphitheatre. Kahoutek, Pitzer's annual music festival, occurred the Friday and Saturday of Earth Week. Kahoutek went green with a "Bring Your Own Glass" (BYOG) rule to reduce waste. The city of Claremont sponsored Earth Day festivities on Sunday, with activists and eco-friendly vendors filling the streets of the Village. Speakers and musicians set up in the New Village square and in the streets. A "Bike Rodeo" set up alongside the regular Sunday Farmers Market. The flurry of festivities may be over, but with a little work, Earth Day can be every day in Claremont. Scripps Maintenance plans to start sorting and bundling recyclables, beginning with a pilot of paper-only bins this year. Following in Pitzer's footsteps, Malott Commons continues to go trayless, saving water, energy and food. The rest of the colleges are said to follow suit next year. Malott composts their internal food waste at Pomona Farm, but students can compost their personal waste in a worm bin in the Student Garden behind Browning. Students can drop in for garden parties most Fridays in the Scripps Student Garden at 2:30 p.m. In addition, common-sense conservation measures like turning off lights, setting the computer to energy-saving hibernation settings, unplugging appliances and reducing, reusing and recycling can help make the positive Earth Day sentiments turn into lasting, meaningful lifestyle decisions.