UAB Earth Month Festival

By on April 17, 2014
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UAB campus green grew even greener during last week’s Earth Month Festival. Around 1000 students, staff and faculty learned about green vendors and organizations in Birmingham, as well as UAB departments and schools.

UAB Sustainability and American Marketing Association (AMA) presented this year’s Earth Month Festival.

“As a student organization, it is extremely important that students get the experience they need to be successful as their career. UAB Sustainability is a new program at UAB and the AMA wanted to help spread awareness of the new program,” AMA President Laura Pate said.

Educational booths, fresh produce, green lifestyle vendors, electric cars, food trucks, and live music from the UAB Jazz Ensemble and Blazer Band were featured at the event. UAB Sustainability giveaways included t-shirts, water bottles, reusable coffee cups, and a Goal Zero portable solar panel.

Vendors included Advanced Tech Recycling, Alabama Environmental Council, Alabama Power, Alabama Wildlife Center, Birmingham Public Library, Birmingham Mountain Radio, Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Brenda Brown’s Bosom Buddies, Coca-Cola, Commute Smart, Conservation Alabama, Earth Fare, Eco-Three, GASP Group, Green Garage, NYR Organics, Red Mountain Park, Redemptive Cycles, Ruffner Mountain, Staples, Technical Knockout, Turkey Creek Nature Preserve.

“I’m so thrilled with the turnout and student enthusiasm at the Earth Month Festival. The vendors were great and really connected with the students,” UAB Sustainability Coordinator Julie Price said.

Companies such as Coca-Cola shared their green missions at the festival. Coca-Cola presented a 3D model demonstrating how PlantBottles, the first 100% recyclable bottle made from natural sugars found in plants, are created and recycled.

The PlantBottles reduce dependence on fossil fuel and look and feel the same as regular PET bottles. Coca-Cola’s goal is to use PlantBottle packaging for all beverages by 2020.

UAB students also shared their experience with sustainability efforts. Marlee Hayes, a senior studying biology, represented UAB Department of Biology by sharing her work in Dr. Thane Wibbel’s laboratory. Hayes cares for diamondback terrapins, one of the highest conservation concerns in Alabama.

“Their population has greatly declined in the past few decades due to reduced mortality, human consumption over the years, and raccoons and coyotes,” Hayes said.“We have a head start program to help the population recover more rapidly. We collect the eggs, bring them back here to incubate, and raise them for about 2 years before we release them back into the wild. This has rapidly help their population increase.”

Continue celebrating Earth Month by attending events in Birmingham throughout April. AEC Green Tie Affair will take place at Birmingham Botanical Gardens (BBG) on April 22, 6-9:30 p.m. Live music, beverages, heavy hors d’oeuvres provided by local restaurants, and a silent and live auction offering items such as vacation packages, artwork from local artists, and gift certificates will be available. Tickets are $60.

Earth Month at the Gardens is an annual celebration focusing on growing interest in community gardening. On April 26, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., join BBG and Community Garden Coalition at BBG’s Front Garden in front of the Conservatory to view educational displays and demonstrations. The event is free and open to the public.

End your celebration at Tonya Jones SalonSpa’s Earth Month Art Party & Silent Auction in English Village on April 29, 5-7 p.m. Artwork from local students will be available for purchase in a silent auction. Food, music, drinks, and more will be available. Tickets are $20.

For more sustainability news, tip of the week, events, initatives and more, visit https://www.uab.edu/sustainability/.
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