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E3 at UCLA’s Earth Day fair features sustainability clubs, raises awareness

Members of the Bruin Birding Club stand at their table during this year’s Earth Day fair, which was hosted by E3 at UCLA. The event highlighted a variety of clubs involved in conservation and environmental advocacy across campus. (Julia Zhou/Photo editor)

By Lyah Fitzpatrick

May 5, 2024 4:51 p.m.

Live music and decorated tables drew students to Dickson Court for an Earth Day fair, where around 15 UCLA clubs used a small square of campus to celebrate the entire globe.

The event, held April 22 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., was hosted by E3 at UCLA – an environmental advocacy club – and featured various campus organizations related to environmentalism and sustainability, including Dig Student Garden at UCLA and Bruin Beekeepers. E3 hosted a raffle and spotlighted several musicians, while students at decorated booths handed out items, including environmentalist books, planter kits and reusable beeswax food wraps.

Sydney Wissing, a member of E3’s Earth Month commission, said she hoped students passing through the fair would become more aware of and invested in environmental issues.

“That’s one of the hardest parts – getting started,” said Wissing, a fourth-year psychobiology student. “But find your group, find your place, and you can make a big difference.”

The Bruin Beekeepers table aimed to educate passersby at the fair about their club and bees in general, said their educational director Kelly Luong. Half of the club’s table focused on native bees with various flashcards and a beehive, while the other half showcased the club’s beekeeping style with a hive box and homemade wax candles.

“I feel like it’s something that everyone knows: ‘Oh, save the bees,’” said Luong, a third-year biology student. “But no one really knows how to go about that, so we’re offering an in, or kind of an easy way to get started.”

Another booth advertised Coastalong, a bike-powered music festival hosted at the Sunset Canyon Recreation Center each spring. One of the festival’s major goals is to bring attention to alternative, renewable sources of energy, said Nicole Floum, a member of Coastalong’s marketing team.

[Related: Running on bike power, Coastalong 2024 brings music and sustainability to UCLA]

Wissing said it is more important than ever to get involved in conservation, as the planet is at an environmental tipping point based on global temperature predictions. Recent extreme rainfall is likely an outcome of global warming, they said, adding that humanity must take action immediately to avoid catastrophic consequences.

As Wissing spoke, musician and third-year communication student Megan Bober played piano and sang into a microphone. Bober said she was asked to sing a small set at the fair in preparation for her performance at Coastalong, adding that she loves connecting and impacting people with music.

“Earth Day is important to highlight activists, organizations and (energy) alternatives, and also bringing attention to people who are doing really good things for our Earth,” said Floum, a third-year biology and history student.

Other booths featured organizations such as Bruin Dine, a club addressing food waste and insecurity; Dig Student Garden, focused on food systems and garden education; and Bruin Birding Club, which implements conservation and restoration projects for birds on campus.

Luong said Earth Day is a nice way to connect with nature, especially since many people are out of touch with the environment.

Floum added that she sees Earth Day as a way to not just bring awareness to the planet’s critical state, but also celebrate the progress that environmental activists have made recently.

“I think people really get stuck in the bubble of, ‘Everything is going poorly, and we’re depleting our Earth,’” Floum said. “But there are people who are doing really awesome, amazing work out there to really challenge those systems and break down barriers that people have to sustainability and things of that nature.”

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Lyah Fitzpatrick
Fitzpatrick is a News staff writer on the science and health beat and has contributed to the Daily Bruin since 2021. She is a third-year ecology, behavior and evolution student with a minor in art history.
Fitzpatrick is a News staff writer on the science and health beat and has contributed to the Daily Bruin since 2021. She is a third-year ecology, behavior and evolution student with a minor in art history.
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