In celebration of Earth Day, Earthfest brought live music, food, henna and tie-dyeing to the Mills Courtyard.
Thursday’s event, hosted by the Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC), promoted some of SEAC’s campaigns. SEAC promotes awareness on campus for sustainability and conservation of the environment.
One of the campaigns featured at the event was Divest UNH, a group of students who devote their time to making petitions for the university administration toward converting the school’s energy usage from fossil fuels to eco-friendly options.
“[Divest] pressures the University of New Hampshire to divest their endowment from the top 200 publicly-traded fossil fuel companies,” junior integrated agricultural management major, Dylan Carney, said. Carney placed an emphasis on switching to local, renewable energy sources, such as Offshore Wind from Maine.
According to Carney, studies have shown that Offshore Wind can supply up to 60 percent of New England’s required energy.
Choose to Reuse, another campaign under the umbrella of SEAC, focuses on banning plastic disposable water bottles on campus and educating students on using reusable bottles instead.
“Anywhere you see a Dasani water bottle at any retail location at UNH, is where [the bottles] would be taken out,” junior psychology and sustainability major Danielle Flanagan said. “[Choose to Reuse] has been working with administration, with dining, and we’ve been trying to reach out to students and educate [them] this semester, and get demand down.”
Three students in a course called Natural Resources 444F: Does Extinction Matter, were also at the event, displaying a paper mache Northern Atlantic Right Whale, an animal that is classified as critically endangered, according to pamphlets the students were passing out.
“We found newspapers that weren’t used or were going to be thrown away to do the paper mache,” first-year biochemistry majowr Brooke Howland said.
Howland explained that the inner structure was comprised of cans found around campus. Howland, along with first-year student Kyra Laberge and first-year environmental engineering major Lucas Theoharidis, passed out small flyers addressing the Northern Atlantic Right Whale and how to reduce pollution and litter to those who visited their table.
SEAC hosts several events per year, including Trash 2 Treasure and Solarfest, which will be on the Mills Courtyard on Sunday, May 7, from 11 a.m. – 8:30 p.m., according to sophomore recreation management and policy major Ben Kremer. The event will be entirely solar-powered and free for students, featuring nine bands and over 30 vendors.