Ibrahim Hashmi, ’18, was just walking up to his dorm when he noticed some signs, each with a clever guessing game on them. Intrigued, he followed the signs, which led him to Lehigh’s Earth Day Fair.
“It’s raising environmental awareness in an interesting and fun way,” Hashmi said of his time at the fair. “Sometimes we get caught up in our own lives and forget about our planet. We should celebrate the Earth more than just one day a year.”
Lehigh’s Office of Sustainability hosted its annual Earth Day Fair on Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The celebration moved from the University Center front lawn to Lamberton Hall due to a rainy weather forecast.
The fair featured many campus organizations promoting their eco-friendly efforts. Booths were setup for students and community members to gain knowledge about ways they can help protect and preserve the environment. They also offered a variety of organic foods and drinks, as well as give-aways and sustainable prize raffles.
“The fair is to bring together campus groups, whether they’re departments, student groups, Greek organizations, or different colleges, to promote their sustainability or green efforts,” said Katie Klaniecki, Lehigh’s sustainability program coordinator, “It’s a positive environment. Everyone is celebrating the things that they do and I think it encourages one another.”
To kick off the fair, Delicia Nahman, a sustainability officer, gave a short speech to welcome and encourage everyone to gain knowledge and take initiative to make Lehigh and the surrounding community a better place.
According to Klaniecki, the Earth Day Fair usually includes an element of craft, a sustainable give-away or a product that can help people live more sustainable lives. It’s also a chance to showcase the environmental groups and initiatives on campus.
“This is one of the only events on campus that brings together a bunch of groups into one setting and really celebrates all the work that people do,” Klaniecki said.
Angie Samatte,’15, said her favorite part was “getting this basil plant. I like to cook with it, like put it in my spaghetti sometimes. So this way I don’t have to buy them, which is great.”
Samatte also said that she will “go to the Farmer’s Market from now on to get more organic peanut butter,” after tasting a sample from one of the booths.
Tejwant Gomanie, ’18, picked up some fruit and vegetable seeds at the fair, “which is great because I do gardening in the summer.”
For Casey Ching, ’17, an environmental engineering student, the fair added a whole other level of excitement.
Ching said before attending this fair she never realized “the number of organizations that are outside of Lehigh that are trying to get us involved and just remind us that it’s our job as a university to be connected with our community.”
Even after the fair was over, many stayed to share and learn more from all the different organizations that presented methods, products and ideas for a better sustainable future.
“It’s extremely important for Lehigh to celebrate Earth Day,” Spencer Nush, ’17, said. “The organizations and clubs that are already involved…it’s to also recognize their accomplishments and also motivate them to do more.”