Earthfest shows concern for recycling, social issues

Imagine living in a world where trash overflowed onto the streets and landfills reached their limit because nobody recycled.

Recycling is just one of the major issues that Earth Alert, University of Miami’s environmental organization, deals with.

On Tues., April 16th, Earth Alert held it’s fifth annual Earthfest on the U.C. patio from 11a.m. to 4 p.m. Earth Alert invited the band “Late for Life” to entertain those in attendance.

As the band played, students took the opportunity to visit the humanitarian and environmental organizations that tabled.

Earth Alert president, Stefan Fairchild, started planning Earthfest last month, along with former president Kristina Trotta, and publicity chair, Shelly Stromosky.

“We wanted students to be environmentally conscious,” said Fairchild.

This year, the organization’s main concern was recycling, because in previous years, the university never had a formal recycling program.

Among the organizations present were the Sierra Club, Students for a Free Tibet, Food not Bombs, and the Living Wage Coalition.

Earth Alert also had a table where interested students could sign up to become members. They distributed pamphlets and literature about recycling, water conservation, and habitat preservation.

Each organization present addressed serious humanitarian and environmental issues. The Sierra Club distributed information about maintaining clean air and water, waste reduction, and protection of forests, parks, and wildlife.

Students for a Free Tibet informed everyone about the Chinese occupation of Tibet, and how Tibetans have been imprisoned for their political and religious beliefs.

Food not Bombs, an all-volunteer and non-denominational organization, passed out numerous fliers on anti-authoritarian issues. They are well known for cooking food at a local kitchen every Sunday and afterwards dishing it out to the less fortunate in downtown Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

“We also address homelessness, poverty, and war. All decisions in our organization are based on consensus and is never hierarchical,” said a Food not Bombs representative.

The Living Wage Coalition distributed fliers about people who are making just enough money to get by, but are not able to live comfortably. Each table allowed those in the UM community to get involved and do something about the issues concerning the earth and the environment.

“I’m amazed that the organizations here show us how to write to the President and our senators in order to tackle the major issues at hand,” said senior Daisy Cruz.

One major achievement for Earth Alert is that they were able to start campus-wide recycling by placing bins throughout six locations at UM.

The bins are for plastic and aluminum recycling. They can be found in the following locations: the UC patio, the Law School, Cox Science Center, the Learning Center by the vending machines, and Memorial and Jenkins building.

Paper recycling receptacles are also present throughout UM in office buildings and residential colleges.

While the main concern for the organization is recycling, they also deal with global warming campaigns and habitat restoration.

As a group, they go camping and help with beach clean up. Earth Alert operates out of the Volunteer Services Center; they meet every other Wednesday, with the last meeting of the year scheduled to take place on April 24th.

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