The 18th annual Eagles’ Earth Day celebration took place Tuesday, April 7, and students did much more than just planting a few trees.
The main focus of Eagles’ Earth Day this year was the Real Food Challenge, which encourages students to begin eating healthy food — primarily real food. According to the Real Food Challenge, real food is food that is genuinely nourishing; an example of this would be fresh local produce.
Jade Chalkley, one of the committee members for this year’s Earth Day celebrations, said that the idea to use the Real Food Challenge for this year’s theme was a team effort.
“The committee came up with the idea since Student Government and other departments have approved the Real Food Challenge,” Chalkley said. “It’s about food that is nourishing to the earth, producers, consumers and the local economy.”
Some of the Earth Day festivities this year included tree planting, a campus cleanup, a farmers market, a demonstration from chef James Fraser, a poetry slam and a fashion show featuring clothes made from recyclable, natural or industrial materials called “Runway Earth: Fashions for a Sustainable Planet.” The events took place on the South Village lawn in the early morning and the Library lawn and Veterans Pavilion for the remainder of the day.
Chalkley thinks it is important for students to live sustainably because it helps our environment — something that Florida Gulf Coast University supports in its mission statement.
“It’s to support awareness and promote sustainable actions,” Chalkley said. “This is what our university is about. We live on a conservation area. Being an eco-community is what we pride ourselves on.”