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Keepin’ it green

Illustration | Claire Bohning | The Broadside

Local groups come to the college to teach others how to keep our planet green

Cedar Goslin
The Broadside

Central Oregon Community College is getting ready to celebrate Earth Day on April 21. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the campus is going to be celebrating the planet we call home and students can learn what they can do to keep it clean for future generations. The event is being sponsored by the Associated Students of COCC and will feature free food, live music and booths set up by several companies from Bend.

“We’re connecting directly with the community,” said Maggie Skyler, an honorary member of ASCOCC. Students will have a chance to visit the booths set up by various companies, including Bend Habitat for Humanity, Sunriver Observatory & Nature Center and the Environmental Center of Bend. At these booths students will have the chance to sign up for volunteer hours, learn how to make solar cookies and make bird houses that will be hung around
COCC’s campus to welcome the birds back for the spring. Skyler said more than anything, COCC’s Earth Day celebration is a chance for students to learn how to get involved community-wise, or even just make a difference around the campus.

“Today we should celebrate our planet,” said Skyler. “Without it we wouldn’t be here and we need to keep it safe.”

For those who are wondering exactly what they can do to keep the planet clean and safe, The Environmental Center of Bend will be hosting a booth at the celebration to educate them.

The Environmental Center is an organization dedicated to keeping the planet in good condition for future generations.

Its website states that their mission is to “embed sustainability into the daily life in Central Oregon.” At its booth representatives from the organization will hand out “Green Spots,” which are pamphlets highlighting local businesses that take a more environmentally friendly approach.

Representatives will also help attendees find out what they personally can do to help the cause.

“I think for anyone it’s finding one thing you can do, starting there and do it fully,” said Jackie Wilson, a sustainability educator at the Environmental Center of Bend.

Wilson said that people can sometimes feel overwhelmed by the pressure to “go green,” but going green doesn’t mean you have to give up driving your car and change everything; it’s really about finding little ways that they can commit to and stick with.

“Like stop using plastic bags. That’s one thing you can do and it’s everyday,” said Wilson.

Wilson thought that the biggest benefits of COCC and the community celebrating Earth Day is that it makes the individual feel capable of making a difference in a world where a lot of issues seem out of our control.

“It’s a way to change that apathetic nature,” said Wilson.

Earth Day shows everyone how they can pitch in and make a difference in their community and inspire others to do the same.

Members of the COCC community looking to celebrate Earth Day and learn how to do their part are urged to attend the event on April 21. There will be plenty to do and see, and Long Board Louie’s Burrito Bar will provide free food.

Cedar Goslin can be reached at cgoslin@cocc.edu

Five ways you can help your community and planet everyday

1. Use reusable bags innstead of plastic bags.

2. Take the bus; students can buy monthly BAT passes for $10!

3. Turn off your lights and unplug electronics when they aren’t necessary.

4. Car pool, split gas costs!

5. Remember to recycle items such as paper, plastic and cans.

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