By Alyssa Rychener – Horizon News and Features Editor
More than one billion people around the world will participate in Earth Day activities this year to “voice their appreciation for the planet and demand its protection” according to the Earth Day Network. Hesston College students will be among the one billion as we participate in our own Earth Day activities today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Hesston is using Earth Day as a chance for students to show off what they have learned, integrating class work with the college’s emphasis on sustainability.
But Nelson Kilmer’s Physics II class, Earth Day is more than just a one-day activity.
“We’ve been working on it for the whole year,” said Zach Baumgartner, one of Kilmer’s physics students. “We’ve been integrating it into our labs.”
Throughout the semester labs were based around concepts of solar power and wiring to prepare the students for projects for earth day. Students designed and built an electric bike using solar panels to charge the battery, and substituted solar power to cook food. Today, a microwave powered only by the sun will be set up for use. Another notable substitution made was with the sound system for the event. Even sophomore Aaron Young’s concert will be powered by solar panels.
Lorna Harder’s Environmental Biology class will participate as well, with presentations on gardening with native plants and recycling techniques. Also, David LeVan’s Entrepreneurship class will sell “Menno Barrels,” rain barrels designed, constructed, marketed, and sold by students as a class assignment.
The event lasts only a few hours, but its purpose is not about what can be done in one day. It’s about bringing attention to the little things we can do to live sustainably.
“You don’t have to make radical changes,” noted Baumgartner.
Even if you think you know everything there is about going green, Earth Day events will be fun for everyone.
“I’m looking forward to riding the bike…or watching Nelson ride it,” said Baumgartner.