By Lexie Alpert
For The Diamondback
The University of Maryland community Friday came together to learn about sustainability through hands-on activities from campus organizations and students at EarthFest.
EarthFest — hosted by the SGA’s sustainability committee, this university’s sustainability office and resident life department and the Residence Hall Association — featured plant giveaways, lawn games, yoga, sustainable souvenirs, trivia and more on McKeldin Mall. The annual campus event aims to teach students about environmental justice and sustainability.
“I think it’s amazing. I already feel my serotonin levels rising by just being here and seeing everybody,” junior information science major Maddy Shanahan said at the event. “It gives people a little break.”
The university’s transportation services department also had a booth where they provided different materials for students to decorate bikes, scooters and skateboards.
The booth also hosted yoga led by fitness instructors from RecWell and advertised different micromobility resources available to the university community.
Aysha Cohen, this university’s sustainable transportation coordinator, hopes events like EarthFest will make transportation more approachable, safe, fun and social.
The Sustainable Ocean Alliance Chapter also hosted a booth selling biodegradable confetti made out of flower petals.
Around graduation season, campus can become cluttered with metallic confetti that is harmful for waterways, wildlife and the overall campus, according to club member and junior biology major Juliet Sodergreen.
The Sustainable Ocean Alliance’s biodegradable confetti was relatively cheap, which made it easier for students to buy it, Sodergreen said.
“When students compare the price of a regular company and our company they’ll be more inclined to choose ours,” Sodergreen said. “It’s [about] lowering the barrier to make people more compelled to take good actions for the Earth.”
Epsilon Eta, a co-ed professional environmental fraternity at this university, hosted a booth where they gave out seed balls to encourage students to grow plants.
Ben Griffith, a senior information science major in Epsilon Eta, hopes students continue environmental stewardship beyond EarthFest by picking up trash and helping keep this university’s campus clean.
Having an event like EarthFest, with support from this university, allows students to think about environmental threats and what can be done to stop them, Griffith said.
“It’s a great way, not only to spread awareness to students but to show that the school really cares and is trying to support the cause,” he said.