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Various sustainable activities planned for Earth Day celebration

Ohio University’s Office of Sustainability and Voinovich Zero Waste Initiative will host their annual Earth Day celebrations, showcasing sustainability initiatives across campus and the surrounding Athens area.

The celebrations will be kicked off with OU’s first Earth Day parade at 12:30 p.m., where people have the chance to dress up in costumes made by Passion Works Studios, play with noise makers and walk with mascots Rufus, The Bag Monster and Pawpaw. Following the parade there will be a number of sustainable initiatives people of all ages can check out, including the reuse and repair fair, the rebike and an electric vehicle showcase.

Vicky Kent is especially looking forward to seeing The Bag Monster, which is a costume made out plastic bags from Kroger and Walmart, come to life for participants to see.

“Basically someone will wear that, and it will represent the amount of things we use and don’t think about,” Kent, the sustainable living coordinator and a graduate student studying recreation studies, said. “And it’s cool, because if you move in that at all, it makes loads of noise from all the bags.”

At the end of the parade, people can wander to the Reuse and Repair Fair, which offers mending stations where attendees can learn and have some of their own repairable clothing items mended.

“We definitely want people to come along and not only have stuff repaired, but learn how to do it, because a lot of the fixes are really easy,” Kent said. ”So it’s a really good way to make use of your clothing and not just going and getting rid of it.”

There will also be a variety of crafts at the Reuse and Repair Fair for children to check out and learn DIY skills for future use.

“We have a lot of activities aimed at students who really want to be big kids, and also kids who want to learn something new,” Kent said. “We have a ton of crafting things like making beeswax food wrappers, upcycling tiles and button making.”

Kent believes the people of Athens take sustainability very seriously throughout the area. This Earth Day, she hopes to tie all of those environmental strings together in one big celebration.

“We hope this is one day we can celebrate the fact that our community and the extended community within Athens can do something together to help push things in the right direction,” Kent said. “The Earth Day celebrations are just about showcasing some of those options.”

Samuel Crowl, associate director of sustainability, is looking forward to the third annual rebike taking place during the Earth Day festivities. The rebike is comprised of abandoned bikes found around campus that are being resold for $40. People can also learn about basic bike repairs as well.

“The first year, we sold 39 bikes. The second year a few over 40, and then we’ll have 40 bikes this year,” Cowl said. “There was a really good collection of bikes this year, so all of the bikes are well worth $40.”

Along with regular bicycles, there will also be an electric vehicle showcase put on by members of the Electric Vehicle Cruisers Club in Peden Stadium’s parking lot. There will be various types of electric vehicles, including electric bicycles, motorcycles, automobiles and skateboards.

With all of the sustainable activities going on all afternoon, Maddie Ogden, a sophomore studying journalism, is excited to check out everything in and around Athens that helps the environment.

“It’s an important holiday to celebrate, especially now with everything that’s happening with climate change,” Ogden said.


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