SELU Occupies Earth

Southeastern Louisiana University hosted a number of volunteers yesterday in the War Memorial Student Union to educate students, staff and community members on how to better take care of their planet.

Representatives manned presentation tables and handed out papers, pamphlets and guides on how to do things such as reduce carbon footprints, recycle, conserve energy and create compost from food otherwise wasted.

Companies on site included Microsoft U, Entergy, Global Wildlife, DEQ, NASA, and Southeastern’s own Student Government Association, Physical Plant Services, and Reconnect, which promotes locally grown food and environmentally sustainable practices.

Students were greeted at a welcoming table and asked to pledge to “go green,” a promise that was evident throughout the student union on Earth Day.

Some companies, like Entergy, educated consumers on how to lower their electric bills while also conserving energy. Eunice Harris, a customer service manager serving St. John, St. James, Tangipahoa and Washington parishes, explained to students that the easiest way for them to save energy and thus reduce their monthly bills.

“The easiest thing for you to do is make sure you are turning out lights and turning off electronics not in use, as well as raising the temperature on your air conditioners when not at home so they do not have to work as hard.”

She also explained that changing the air filters once a month could preserve the life of the unit as well as lower its output energy. “The best way to remember,” she said, “is to change it every time you receive your bill in the mail.”

NASA representatives encouraged student to check out their newest addition to the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, which focuses on environmental education by encouraging scenic tours of well cared for areas, education on carbon footprints, and conservation of the water in our oceans and rivers.

A DEQ, Louisiana’s Department of Environmental Quality, representative was also on site. According to their website, deq.louisiana.gov, the department’s mission statement reads as such: “To provide service to the people of Louisiana through comprehensive environmental protection in order to promote and protect health, safety and welfare while considering sound policies regarding employment and economic development.”

Global Wildlife’s presentation also sought to promote health in the environment by encouraging the community to come visit and take tours with them, see how wild animals are cared for and what type of environment is necessary for these animals to thrive on their own.

Other presentations included how to use worms to convert food waste into compost soil for gardens.

Microsoft U. held a collection for old electronics and used batteries which would be sent to a recycling plant to be broken down and reconstituted for other uses, according to Microsoft’s representative.

Earth Day 2012 was sponsored by the Student Government Association and the Press Club.

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