April 17-22 marked Pacific Union College’s first Green Week. For six days PUC students and community members enjoyed activities that informed, entertained and provided opportunities to care for our local and global community.
The week started with a special colloquy on April 17, including the PUC elementary choir and praise band’s boisterous performance of “With my Own Two Hands” and “The Three R’s.” Things got serious when Dr. Matthew Sleeth, a full-time minister in environmental conservation, shared his journey towards Christianity and environmental awareness. Once an ER doctor and secular humanist, he now devotes himself exclusively to promoting ecological awareness and serving Christ. His book title sums up his philosophy: Serve God, Save the Planet.
Throughout Green Week, the campus continued to host events geared to educate and inspire students and the community to care for the earth. Events included an art contest for PUC elementary student and the films A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash, FernGully, and Who Killed the Electric Car? Freshman Tyler Mccullch took a break to watch A Crude Awakening. “It made me aware of what is actually happening with our current energy sources,” he said.
Environmentalists new and old put their knowledge to practical use on April 18, during the Angwin community cleanup, and the campus later enjoyed an outdoor picnic. Biology professors Floyd Hayes and Amy Wyrick led a special Sabbath afternoon hike through PUC’s forest, and after sunset, things took a fun turn with Glow Wars — a game of glow-in-the-dark ultimate Frisbee.
Green Week ended on April 22 with PUC’s very own Earth Day Fair. Booths lined the road in front of the cafeteria for three hours. Foot traffic was busy as visitors tasted organic apple juice, saw trash-to-treasure demonstrations, learned about recycling and green cleaning products, participated in a raffle for an electric scooter and stopped at the Hope Tree, a small tree with a few young branches of bright green leaves. What made it hopeful were the little slips of paper tied to it — promises. Each paper held a personal promise to be greener in the following year. Uriel Garcia, one of many who hung a promise on the Hope Tree, said, “I think it’s a good opportunity to make people aware and get them to make a small difference that will make a big difference in the long run.” He pledged to use his car less.
Another big draw was the row of electric and hybrid cars on display. Hoods were open to show how engines differed from traditional cars and experts were on hand to explain how they worked. Another busy area was the thrift store set up to encourage purchasing pre-owned goods, and the Green Club sold reusable tote bags for $1. Also available were tours to PUC’s cogeneration plant.
Gayle Fuchs, senior early childhood education major and one of the many Earth Day Fair participants, said, “I’m really excited about it. I think it’s about time and I hope they do this every year. ”