Cumberland Times-News

April 21, 2013

Earth tone

College club supporting environment through activities

Cumberland Times-News

— Good for the Peace Studies Club of Allegany College of Maryland for doing its part to support the environment through Earth Day and Earth Week activities.

Not only is it sponsoring the screening of two films with an environmental theme, it also is broadening its on-campus effort to improve the environment. The club, which operates a plastic container recycling program in the campus’ Humanities Building, is expanding its efforts to include the ACM cafeteria. It is underwriting the cost of recycling efforts this month at the college food service, which has begun a project to reclaim Styrofoam containers.

In addition, the club is asking fellow students and faculty and staff members to reduce their carbon footprint in some fashion, such as by carpooling, turning off computers not in use and replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent ones.

The first of the films, “Home,” which presents aerial-only footage for a view of Earth, will be shown today, Earth Day, at 12:30 p.m. in the Zimmer Theatre on the ACM campus. The second, “The Island President,” is the story of the first democratically-elected president of the climate-threatened Maldives. It will be shown Thursday from 2 to 3:30 p.m, in the theater. Both are free and open to the public.

Allegany College also will celebrate Arbor Day Wednesday with a program centering on urban forestry in Cumberland and concluding with a campus tree planting. The event begins at noon in the Center for Continuing Education and features Paul Eriksson, natural resources specialist for the city of Cumberland. His talk is titled, “Growing the Urban Forest in Cumberland.” The event is open to the public.

Earth Day began in 1970 and was prompted by then U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, who was appalled about the ravages of the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill. Since then the event has become a worldwide observance, taking place every April 22.

The environmental challenges that exist today seem even greater than those of 1970. It is grassroots efforts like those at Allegany College of Maryland that collectively can give a little comfort to Mother Earth.