Earth Week 2013 events at RLC

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EARTH WEEK

APRIL 22 – 26

            INA, Ill. – The Rend Lake College campus has many upcoming events for students to participate and celebrate Earth Week 2013 – an event to create awareness about the natural environment and sustainability.

            Nearly every single day, RLC instructors will be located at the Notch. That’s the area underneath the Academic building. Numerous Earth Week events will be taking place there for students to see or take part.

            From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., on Monday and Tuesday, a Rain Barrel Silent Auction will be taking place at the Notch. Associate Professor of Science Greg Hollmann is chairman of the Greening the Campus Committee at RLC.

            “What we’ve done is, the committee, in conjunction with maintenance, has modified some 55 gallon barrels into rain barrels, which can be used to collect rain from a gutter system and then used for landscaping around a home,” Hollmann explained. Art Professor Therese Melena is adding her flair by painting the three barrels to make them into something truly unique for the silent auction.

            Graphic Design students will be getting some publicity during the Earth Week events. They have been working hard for a month and a half on a “green poster series” that promotes recycling, water bottle refilling stations, and more. These posters will be on display for everyone to see from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, and from 9 – 11 a.m., Wednesday, at the Notch. Vote for a winner. From 12:30 2 p.m., select classes will be taking a small field trip over to the Pat Kern Private Dining Room in the Student Center where an Ingredients Film Showing will take place. Soft drinks and popcorn will be available to the students.

            A Local Foods Exchange will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, in the PKPDR. Students can drop in and sample some local foods or really get involved by signing up to bring their own local foods. Sign up sheets can be found at various spots around campus, like bulletin boards and building entrances.

            What is a local foods exchange? Hollmann describes it best. “It’s a food sampling of local items that people, staff, faculty, and students have canned in the last year. It could also maybe be homemade fresh bread. People can trade canned goods and sample different things.” Hollmann said he will be contributing pork tenderloin from a locally raised pig that he will smoke on campus.

            If that isn’t enough food for staff, faculty, or students; the Culinary Arts Warrior Showcase will be doing a Local Foods Theme from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., that evening in the PKPDR. The Warrior Showcase is every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday through May 10. A menu has been set for the fine dining series, but the April 24 local foods theme is an exception. According to Hollmann, culinary students will be shopping at local farmer’s markets and preparing a menu made from foods that are in season.  

            Also on Wednesday: The University of Missouri St. Louis’ Katy Smaisastrla will help launch a three-week Sustainable Art Contest at 9 a.m., in the Theatre Lobby. The winners of the rain barrels silent auction will be announced at the Notch.

            The winner of the Greening the Campus Poster Series will be announced at 11 a.m., Thursday, at the Notch. The winner gets a prize and the poster will be used to promote sustainability on campus in the future.

            Earth Week at RLC will wrap up with 180 first graders from Mt. Vernon District #80 taking part in an Earth Day Education Event that will stretch across campus. Hollmann and Biological Sciences Associate Professor Abel Kinser have coordinated the outdoor educational event with the Future Educators Association (FEA).

            For additional information about these upcoming events for Earth Week - or about being involved in any way, shape, or form with the Greening the Campus Committee - contact Hollmann at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1780, or by e-mail at .

Brecca Mullinax (RLC Clocktower Chronicle Staffwriter)

How big is your carbon footprint?

            People leave their footprints wherever they go. And just like the outlines left in sand, dirt and snow; people are leaving their mark on the Earth with another kind of footprint.

A person’s carbon footprint can be measured in the amount of transportation they use - bus, car, plane, etc. – or the amount of electricity or natural gas used to power their workplaces and homes. A person’s own carbon footprint, as well as the collective carbon footprint of humanity, is much larger than most are aware.

The term carbon footprint is used to describe how much greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane, and others, are emitted into the air. This includes vehicle exhaust, and smoke released by factories. It is all contributing to a huge carbon footprint being left on Earth.

So how big is an individual’s footprint? This will differ from person to person, depending on activities and lifestyle. There are many quizzes and carbon footprint calculators offered online, along with  helpful tips to reduce it.

Brecca Mullinax (RLC Clocktower Chronicle Staffwriter)

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The Rend Lake College Greening the Campus Committee advocates for sustainable practices in the Rend Lake College community.  Sustainable practices are characterized as economically viable, and as socially and environmentally responsible.

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