In the first of a series of events for Cal State Long Beach’s Sustainability Month, Monday’s Sustainability Showcase highlighted the efforts of on- and off-campus groups to maintain Long Beach as environmentally friendly.
Held at the Speaker’s Platform in between the University Bookstore and the Hall of Science, the two-hour showcase featured a variety of small vendors which students visited to learn more about the efforts of each group.
Student organization such as SustainU and Students for Sustainable Health and off-campus groups such as the Aquarium of the Pacific addressed different environmental issues in Long Beach.
“This is meant to showcase groups on campus that bring awareness to certain issues, and our off campus partners like the aquarium do the same,” said Sustainability Coordinator Holli Fajack.
Students crowded around the artwork of sophomore drawing and painting major Narsiso Martinez. His display of art included detailed portraits of agricultural workers painted on different fruit and vegetable cardboard packaging boxes.
Martinez’s way of conserving, recycling and creating works of art was a visually unique aspect of the showcase.
“I started using cardboard when I found out how difficult it was [for me] to do compositions on canvas,” he said. “This is a way to put a face on the workers.”
Martinez said he works every summer in the fields in Washington picking strawberries, asparagus and other produce. He said he hopes to someday travel across the world to capture the experiences of more farm workers.
Cassandra Davis, an education volunteer coordinator for the Aquarium of the Pacific, highlighted the aquarium’s conservation efforts with displays of trash found in oceans and in the system’s of sea creatures.
According to Davis, the showcase was an opportunity to recruit volunteers to help out at the aquarium, spread ways on how to be part of a “climate change-ready” city like Long Beach and take steps to prevent climate change as much as possible.
“Skip the plastic, skip the straws and the sandwich bags,” Davis said. “These products stay preserved for 200 years.”
The sustainability table handed out checklist cards dubbed “showcase passports” for students. After visiting at least eight tables at the showcase, students could return them in exchange for reusable gift bags with reusable water bottles and utensils inside. Other tables, such as the CSULB Sustainable Transportation and Parking Services, had games like spin the wheel for students to play and win prizes like pens, pins and bags.
The next Sustainability Month event is Tuesday’s Green Careers Panel and is being held in West Wing 205 of the University Student Union.