Earth Day: It’s not easy being ‘green’

Geology major Samuel Boaz is looking for redemption, or so he joked.

“I’m more interested in remediation,” Boaz said.  “That’s what I’m shooting for — repair work.”

Boaz is the president of the Green Group at Wichita State, which hosted its seventh annual Green Earth Fest Wednesday afternoon at the Rhatigan Student Center.

Green Group is an assembly of like-minded individuals who are interested in making an environmental impact here on campus.  

“We just wanted to get people out in the sunshine,” said Toni Jackman, faculty adviser for the Green Group. “Enjoying the environment, and seeing how nice it is to have a clean environment like we do now.  

Vendors included Great Plains Nature Center, the Sedgwick County Zoo and other local organizations aligned with vegetarian and environmentally friendly lifestyles. Various music acts performed throughout the event, as well.

Behind the vendor booth for PRoKanas — a nonprofit recycling company — stood Wichita State student Brandon Moore. Moore is the recipient of the scholarship that PRoKansas awards to an environmental science or engineering student entering their third year of schooling.

“Change the world,” Moore said when asked why he got into his field of interest.

Moore, a junior EEO major, said he looks forward to his work after graduation. He hopes to find an internship overseas in second- and third-world countries where he can help make a larger impact.  

 “[We] encourage them to think about the future, and how we’re going to preserve what we have, and pass it on to further generations,” Jackman said.

Jackman emphasized the importance of community organizations.

“We are looking for an interface between the community and the students on campus,” she said.

Activities occurred across campus on 21st Street at the University United Methodist Church, including the dedication of a solar power roof to the church, and an electric and Hybrid car display.

To conclude the Earth Day events, Wichita councilwoman Janet Miller gave a speech on the third floor of the RSC. Miller has been elected to the council twice. She is serving the second year of her second term. She is a 26-year resident of Kansas, and an advocate for the green movement.  

In her speech, Miller touched briefly on four main subjects: air quality, water quality, walking and biking in Wichita, and Wichita Transit. Miller said she was excited to share with the group what their city government was doing to further Wichita in the green movement.  She also commented on where the city and the university could improve.

“Most importantly, elect leaders who believe what you do,” Miller said during her speech. “Local leaders affect your life more than any other leaders.

  “However you get to being sustainable, I’m with you.”