Earth Day: Clean-Up, Trash Audits and Art
Posted on April 15, 2016 by Alice Jackson
Students at the University of South Alabama will clean up campus waterways, hear from a sculptor of ocean debris and hold a trash audit and recycling awareness event in observance of 2016 Earth Day.
The national day will be observed Friday, April 22, marking 46 years since the environmental focus day began as a way to motivate citizens to protect the environment.
South will kick off its environmental observance from 9-11 a.m. on Sunday, April 17, with a combined clean-up sponsored by the USA Sustainability Council, Outdoor Adventures and the Student Government Association. Students will use kayaks and canoes to clear trash from three waterways along the Glenn Sebastian Nature Trail. Participants should meet at the trail’s entrance on Aubrey Green Drive. To sign up and for more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
At 5:30 p.m. on Monday, nationally recognized environmentalist and sculptor Bonnie Monteleone will visit campus to share her “Plastic Ocean Project Presentation” in Room 211 of the Student Center. Prior to her presentation, she’ll be honored with a 4:30 p.m. reception in the Student Center lobby. Both events are free and open to the public.
Monteleone’s traveling art exhibit is currently displayed in the second floor lobby of the Student Center.
She travels the country to increase awareness of the growing problem of plastic debris in the world’s oceans through her art, which is made from the debris. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, non-biodegradable plastics comprise 80 percent of the Earth’s marine debris. The debris often includes petroleum plastics, which will remain in the oceans for decades, or even longer.
Monteleone, who works in the department of chemistry and biochemistry as an administrative assistant and plastic marine debris lab assistant at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, will talk about how the oceans break plastics into small pieces that can act as sponges for waterborne contaminates, such as pesticides. Ocean wildlife often ingests these pieces, moving the contamination into the food chain.
On Friday, April 22, 9-11 a.m., the SGA and the Student Sustainability Council will continue the observance with trash audits on the green space between the Student Center and Meisler Hall. They will display trash collected from cans inside the Student Center’s Food Court to show how much of it could be recycled.
For more information about USA’s Earth Day events, or changes due to rain, visit southalabama.edu/specialprojects/usasustainability/news/.
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