The Student Organization for Sustainability Action hosted Earth Week in collaboration with other organizations at Florida Tech from April 16-23.
Ana Castaneda, a junior in sustainability, has been a part of SOSA for three years and the president of the organization for the past year.
She said this year, she made the decision to host a fall Earth Day in addition to spring’s Earth Week.
“I think it’s very important to create an impact,” Castaneda said. “Let people know we are working toward certain environmental goals, create awareness. I think that’s the main goal of Earth Week or Earth Day.”
Ken Lindeman, the advisor for SOSA, said Earth Week is reminder to stop to think about how to treat the planet better.
“If you wanted to scale up, it’s like Mother’s Day,” Lindeman said. “Once a year, you stop hopefully and celebrate your mother, your father.”
Lindeman said because there is so much both he and SOSA want to accomplish, they have stretched Earth Day into Earth Week.
Additionally, he said sometimes they are asked by other organizations to speak about Florida Tech’s work on Earth Day.
SOSA partnered with groups on campus such as SGA, Squamish, the Surf Club, Flow Arts and the Ethos Garden Club.
They also worked with off-campus groups such as Odyssey Charter School and Brevard Electric Vehicles.
On Saturday, the Surf Club partnered with SOSA to host a beach clean-up and surf class.
Ashley Reitano, the president of the Surf Club, said the club does beach cleanups whenever they can.
“When we bring these three-gallon bags, people might notice how much trash they pick up and fill up these bags even though it seems like there doesn’t look like there’s a lot, and then there ends up being a lot really fast,” said Reitano said.
Jared Nelson, a member of the Surf Club said freshman in planetary science, said community members began to help at Saturday’s event.
“We were out cleaning up trash, and some people were coming up to us, giving us their trash,” Nelson said. “They were saying how this is really important, how the community’s really building and becoming more aware of the garbage that they’re leaving or more aware of the impact they they have on the beaches and stuff.”
Reitano said the goal during Earth Week is to get as many people to participate as possible.
“I think, personally, all of the things that I’ve been involved with for Earth Week have come out of groups and organizations making a big deal about having events that allow everyone to get involved,” Reitano said. “I think it’s important to let everyone to get involved.”
For the Surf Club, they encourage people to participate by teaching people to surf after they clean up the beach.
“It’s an awesome way to combine so that everyone comes out and learns about it and just by spreading that, everyone gets to be more involved and might notice what they do in their everyday lives,” Reitano said.
Earth Week wraps up on April 23. For Lindeman, the theme for the week is raising awareness that will impact people beyond the event.
“The planet isn’t interested in our economies and social dynamics,” Lindeman said. “The planet has been operating for billions of years, and things are changing in many, many realms. Anything we can do to get people to stop for a moment and understand that we take a lot of things for granted seems to be helpful.”