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Colorfully dressed men on stilts, belly dancers, plants and a clothing swap were just some of the highlights of MIT's own Earth Day, celebrated on April 28 in two locations on campus.
Though Earth Day is celebrated elsewhere on April 22, MIT's Earth Day is celebrated just after spring weekend, which was the weekend of April 23 this year.
For the first time, there were two MIT celebrations, one at the Stata Center Student Street and another at Kresge Oval.
Rain hampered the outdoor activities, but the large tent on the oval and the crowd of bikes on the lawn still drew more than 100 students to the lawn to listen to live jazz and Latin music, attend a bike repair workshop, swap used clothing and eat inexpensive vegetarian fare.
"We had more people last year," said Elke Hodson who organized the celebration along with senior Jessica Lee. Both are members of Students for Global Sustainability, one of the many sponsors of the event.
Hundreds of people also walked through the Stata Center lobby where the Working Group for Support Staff Issues Recycling Committee set up a booth along with Office Depot, which marketed "green" office supplies. Additional activities in Stata included videos on sustainability and the environment as well as raffles and entertainers.
"It has been a good afternoon," said Anne Wasserman of the Working Group, who, along with other members of the team, was busy handing out plantable bookmarks that sprout in water and information on campus recycling. "We have had many people come through."
During the Earth Day celebration, both Random Hall and Westgate received prizes for participating in Recycle-Mania, a contest to see which of about 40 U.S. universities could collect the most recyclables in two months. MIT finished in the top 10 overall and Random and Westgate were the top finishers among the MIT dorms.
On April 29, Steven Lanou, program manager for sustainability initiatives in the Environmental Programs Office, led a "Walking Green Campus Tour" of earth-friendly campus spots, including the co-generation power plant and the Stata Center's biofiltration installation.
"Earth Day is really about getting the word out," said Lee. "It is just another chance to tell everyone about conservation."