Eco-Rep Green Corner: Road trip gives Earth Day inspiration

Earth Day has been officially celebrated every year on April 22 since 1970, making April 22, 2011, the 41st national celebration. Rider will be holding its own festivities on Wednesday, April 20, to mark the occasion. From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Cranberry’s patio (rain location: the SRC Lobby), there will be games, a human-powered ride and information tables to educate the community in a fun and interactive way about how to live sustainably and environmentally friendly, thus making “every day Earth Day.” There also will be a keynote speaker, Mark Dixon, from Your Environmental Road Trip (YERT) to talk to students about what his group does and its feature film, YERT.

Dixon, along with Ben and Julie Evans, make up a group of environmental activists who went on a year-long eco-expedition through the 50 states to ask and answer questions about America’s unique approach to environmental sustainability. With their quirky, tongue-in-cheek manner, they cruised across the country in a 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid to capture what average Americans are doing to increase our country’s sustainability. This included everything from museums made of found items to a solar roadway project to fix our nation’s crumbling infrastructure to men and women living in the side of a mountain without the comforts of civilization.

Through vlogging (video blogging), blogging and social networking, the team shared its adventure with the Internet community. They followed three “road rules” throughout their journey to ensure they were also reducing their eco-footprint:

– We will create less than one shoebox of garbage each month, including recyclables. Compost is deposited at compost piles.

– We will never turn on an incandescent light (except car lights).

-We will use approximately 25 gallons of water per person per day.

YERT has taken its adventure and turned it into a feature film celebrating the American spirit in the face of adversity. They wanted to capture what the current generation is accomplishing in order to ensure that future generations have the same opportunity to enjoy all that our planet and beautiful nation have to offer. According to the YERT website, the film promises to be a thought-provoking, inspiring and sometimes hilarious documentary chronicling the courageous and creative individuals, groups, businesses and leaders of this country who are tackling the greatest environmental threats in history. These three adventurers were looking to answer a critical question: “Are we doomed?”

YERT will be screened in Sweigart Room 115 on Sunday at 2 p.m. and Tuesday at 6 p.m. On Wednesday, a meet and greet dinner will take place from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Science Room 310, and Dixon will present in Sweigart Room 115 at 6 p.m. Anyone planning to attend the meet and greet dinner should e-mail Melissa Greenberg (megreenberg@rider.edu).

– Lauren Clabaugh

Lawrenceville Eco-Rep

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