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Earth Day Fair Plants Seeds of Change

The University’s Earth Day Fair featured presentations and information related to the environment and sustainable practices.
May 7, 2018
By: Phyllida Whittaker ’19, student correspondent

The University of Scranton’s Earth Day Fair, held recently in the Loyola Science Center atrium, featured student research projects and giveaways.

 “It’s a lot of fun to have everyone out here, and have a chance to take a break from school and still be doing something productive,” said Anne Ferketic ’19, health administration. Ferketic presented research she completed as part of a psychology class for professor Jessica Nolan, Ph.D. “I focused on the production cycle of cotton,” Ferketic said, and on how it impacts water and the environment.

Student researchers found simple but powerful ways to make positive changes for the Earth. Elena DiLorenzo, Psychology, ’19, persuaded students to commit to using fewer plastic straws each week.

“It is pretty normal to get a straw when you go to Starbucks or a restaurant,” DiLorenzo said. “If you do sign the pledge, you will be agreeing to reduce the amount of straws you use by five straws a week for the rest of the semester, which can make a huge impact.” Reducing plastic waste, DiLorenzo said, would help save marine animals such as sea turtles from consuming it.

Not every participant in the fair was a student. John Hambrose, Communications Manager for the Waste Management® Greater Mid-Atlantic Area, hoped to inspire students to envision how they will keep making an impact on the Earth in the future. Waste Management is North America’s largest residential recycler.

“The fair is a great opportunity to talk to people on a college campus, future decision-makers, about the environment,” said Hambrose. “We have some information about a product we’ve developed in NYC and in Elizabeth, New Jersey, where we’re taking food waste and we’re processing it … to make a slurry, that we then feed into a biodigester which makes natural gas.”

Some stands offered coffee, travel mugs or other items to take home.

Visitors were also allowed to pet the University’s milk snake, Zorro. Milk snakes are native to Pennsylvania.

The Earth Day Fair was among nearly a dozen events organized by the University’s Office of Sustainability.

Phyllida Whittaker ’19, Dimock, is an English major and member of the undergraduate Honors Program at The University of Scranton.
Phyllida Whittaker ’19, Dimock, is an English major and member of the undergraduate Honors Program at The University of Scranton.
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