AWC Goes Green

By Cynthia Riveles

In case you were wondering what all the activity -- and the loud salsa music -- was over by the LR fountain on April 16, that was Arizona Western College hosting the annual Sustainability Fair to promote the importance of our environment.

As always, the event was free and open to the community. Many tables were set up, each with vital information on how to make the Earth cleaner. The event was not only for adults, but young ones as well. For example, the staff of AWC'S Child Development Learning Lab took the kids out to explore the Fair.

"We brought the kids out here so they can be entertained and informed," says CDLL volunteer Fryssia Silva. "It's good for them to learn to recycle at a young age."

Several AWC clubs also made it out and promote both their organization and ways to create a better planet. New clubs such as T.A.S.C. (Transfer Academic Service Club) were giving away balloons and Minion pencil holders they had made themselves using recycled toilet paper tubes.

Clubs such as Math Club and S.O.T.E. had games going on at their tables. The Math Club had a Spin-A-Prize wheel, where participants had to solve anything from simple to tough math problems. For entertainment, S.O.T.E. let the kids take a swing at a couple of piÒatas as well as a toss "trash" at a bucket using recycled paper. The main point was to show that basic items such as paper can be recycled and put to good use.

"Our club is here to promote sustainability," explained S.O.T.E. member Luis Valencia. "We like that people get involved with events such as this one because it shows that they really care about the environment."

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) established a presence by giving out significant information, not only about our environment but also our health.

ADEQ members gave out interesting facts about the human body such that the average the American takes about 20,000 breaths (3,400 gallons of air) each day, and that asthma is the most common chronic illness in children and the cause of most school absences. ADEQ's goal was to inform the crowd that pollution affects not only the atmosphere but our body's health as well.

Other important information ADEQ was shared was about the use of "gray water" at home. Gray water is simply defined as wastewater, collected separately from sewage flow that originates from a clothes washer, bathtub, shower or sink, but not from a kitchen sink, dishwasher or toilet. According to ADEQ, in order to use gray water at home, people need to follow basic requirements, and can only use it for drip or flood irrigation.

Another attention-getting display was the creation of recycled paper.

"The process is very simple," said Jaime Sanchez. "Find old paper, dip it into warm water, add baking soda and leave it out in the sun for about an hour. Then iron the dried paper on low, making sure the iron is not too hot. Do this for three minutes, and leave the paper in the sun for a moment. The paper should be ready by then."

Overall, this year's Sustainability Fair was one for the books indeed.


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