Movie, shoe recycling celebrate Earth Day

Ryan Spoehr, News Editor

Earth Day may come once a year, but this year the opportunity is there to celebrate it twice. Earth Day events at the college are being pushed up to April 19 to accommodate the Good Friday holiday.

Madison College Sustainability Alliance (MESA) is partnering with United Common Ground and the Madison College Volunteer Center for events surrounding Earth Day. Leah Cellar of the volunteer center and Nancy Meyer, co-chair of MESA, coordinated events.

The Earth Day initiative kicks off with a showing of The 11th Hour, a documentary produced and narrated by actor Leonardo DiCaprio. The documentary looks at the condition of the environment globally. It includes focuses on global warming, deforestation, mass species extinction and depletion of the oceans’ habitats. The film includes interviews with names like Stephen Hawking and Mikhail Gorbachev.

There will be two showings of the film. The showings will take place at the WolfPack Den at 2 p.m. and one at 5:30 p.m. Popcorn and soda will be available.

MESA is also partnering with Nike in hopes of recycling 100 pairs of shoes. In Nike’s Reuse a Shoe Campaign, recycled shoes are processed into three types of recycled material.

First, Nike Grind Rubber, which is made from the shoe’s outsole, is used in track surfaces, interlocking gym flooring tiles, playground surfacing and new products sold by Nike.

Second, Nike Grind Foam is made from the midsole of a shoe. The material from that is used toward padding for outdoor basketball and tennis courts.

Also, there is Nike Grind Fiber, which is made from the upper fabric of the shoe. The grind fiber is used for synthetic courts and wood courts for gymnasiums.

Throughout the day on April 19, MESA is calling on all the Madison College campuses to take part in a go green campaign. MESA is encouraging all the campuses to turn off all non-essential appliances and turn off lights that are not being used in efforts to reduce the carbon footprint.

“Hopefully by the end of the day, we will be turned off,” said Nancy Meyer, co-chair of MESA.

MESA is also working with the culinary department to promote local products. In the main kitchen, the culinary department is implementing the Slow Food movement. Carlo Petrini, a journalist who rose to prominence after writing for Italian newspapers like il manifesto and l’Unita, created the Slow Food movement in 1989. It was a large campaign against fast food. It was also an avenue to encourage the recognition of where food comes from and how food affects the rest of the world.

In addition to the Slow Food movement, there will be special menus offered from April 18 through April 22. Jeff Orr of the culinary department and his staff have developed daily menus to commemorate Earth Day and include more health food choices, including the use of organic foods and sustainable fish.

As a special day set aside for environmental awareness, Earth Day actually has its roots in Wisconsin. U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin established Earth Day and it was held for the first time in 1970. Since that time, Earth Day has been a fixture on the calendar on April 22. Cellar acknowledges the importance of Earth Day.

“Earth Day to me particularly means a day we can reserve and really concentrate on the damage we’ve done to our earth and what we can do to make it better,” Cellar said.