Eco Fest offers better use for recyclables

Recycling, conservation and protecting wildlife were just a few topics on display during the Eco Fest Organizational Fair at the Friendship Walk on Wednesday.

Associated Students Inc., the CSULB Environmental Science and Policy Club and other campus organizations presented the annual fair, which provided information for students and faculty on creating a more ecologically friendly environment.

Clubs and organizations from on and off campus, including Save Our Beach, CSULB Green Campus Program, the Surfrider Foundation and Heal the Bay gathered to promote “greener” living options.

ASI Conservation Commissioner Thuy Nghiem said the event is meant to get the word out about the possibilities of a greener campus.

“I wanted to bring out all these local non-profits to show the campus community that there is a lot of green stuff going around,” she said.

Nghiem said that food items, such as a single beef hamburger, use up to 630 gallons of water emissions to make. A sign was presented to show dietary choices that use less carbon emissions, such as turkey and soy.

Save Our Beach founder Kim Masoner displayed creations she has made from recycled materials, such as crocheted bedrolls, or sleeping bags made out of grocery bags. She donated these sleeping bags to homeless people who have nothing to sleep on.

“I founded Save Our Beach 13 years ago,” Masoner said. “We started doing beach cleanups in Seal Beach and now I do them anywhere from San Diego to Santa Monica. Now we have figured out how to turn trash into treasures.”

Masoner also makes purses out of Capri Sun containers and uses travel utensils such as forks and knives that are made of bamboo.

Valerie Palacios represented Food and Water Watch, a consumer advocacy non-profit organization for access to healthy food and clean and affordable water.

“We are promoting for a fair Farm Bill,” Palacios said. “Congress is trying to rush through a poor version of the bill, so we are telling the super committee not to rush the farm bill. It deserves the time to be democratically discussed and debated.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, office of law enforcement was also in attendance. Wildlife inspector and recent CSULB graduate Allison Goldman said the campus community needs to be aware of the problem of the commercial trade of endangered species.

Two tables displayed animal products the officers have confiscated, including leopard and jaguar skins.

“We have the polar bear rug,” Goldman said. “That gentleman was entering the U.S. from Canada and was not too pleased that he lost his several-thousand dollar rug to us. All of this has been seized for being imported or attempted to be exported illegally or preventing it from going into the trade.”

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