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ETSU holds its 37th celebration of Earth Day

April 19th, 2007 11:12 pm by REX BARBER

JOHNSON CITY - It has been 37 years since the first Earth Day, and East Tennessee State University still honors the occasion through song, dance and education.

Phil Weaver graduated from ETSU in the 1970s and attended the first Earth Day event. He remembers when there were 3,000 attendees at the function.

Weaver hoped everyone would remember the science behind Earth Day.

"I think it's nice to have environmental awareness, but it needs to be tempered with some thought," he said Thursday while attending this year's Earth Day event, held at Borchuck Plaza in front of the Sherrod Library from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. "Don't ignore the science."

He takes issue with Al Gore's books about the environment.

"Well, I think ‘Earth in the Balance' was just a mishmash of thoughts," he said of one of Gore's books. "I think it was written more from a political balance instead of a scientific balance."

Aramark, the university's food service provider, serves organic candy and coffee. It set up a table with some of the goods.

Organic candy bars can cost as much as $2 or $3. Michelle Hammett, an ETSU anthropology major, said she did not mind the expense.

"Organic healthy stuff is good for you, good for the environment," she said. "It's expensive, but it's good in the long run."

Asheville, N.C.-based band Makia Groove was playing in the plaza, belting out a sound comparable to world funk improv mixed with reggae, blues and bluegrass.

ETSU student Elana Gulas, who is also president of the student organization Initiative for Clean Energy, said her group successfully campaigned for a campus recycling program to be implemented in the fall.

"So it's just really awesome," she said of the recycling program. "We're really excited about it."She said recycling ties right in with Earth Day.

"Every day should be Earth Day," Gulas said. "But it's great to have a day for people to ... see the good that we can use our Earth for and save things for our kids. I just want to see things beautiful for my grandkids."

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