Loyola’s annual Earth Day Fair, hosted by Students Against Violating the Earth (S.A.V.E.), took place Friday, April 8. This year’s theme— “Make Every Day Earth Day!”— presented Ramblers with new ways of approaching the environmental challenges that exist today. Faculty, staff and students enjoyed interactive projects, educational displays and more.
The Earth Day Fair has become an important part of spring activities at Loyola and aligns with the Academy’s Jesuit values. Stewardship of our planet is an important way to protect and sanctify life. “The goal is for the event to provide a hope-filled, incarnational experience where we may collectively feel empowered to think about the social-environmental impact of our actions, as well as adopt creative practices that will ensure the future health of humanity and the rest of creation,” said S.A.V.E. Club Moderator Mrs. Rhian Jeong, who also teaches theology.
Two main topics were highlighted this year: reducing waste and sustainable choices. “We hope to help students learn about ways they can fight the climate crisis every day in their individual lives, community, country and world,” explained Isabella Vivona ’22, one of S.A.V.E. Club’s co-presidents.
Although the S.A.V.E. Club is the primary host of the Earth Day Fair, it relies on collaboration with many other student organizations to highlight unique perspectives and ideas about conservation. “Some groups more directly provide education and hands-on learning through gardening. Some clubs celebrate joy for this embodied life through the arts, including dance and acapella. Some groups intersect with climate concerns via philosophy and faith,” added Jeong.
Some highlights from this year’s fair included presentations from Loyola’s Service Learning Environmental Science class about zero waste composting and single use plastics. They also discussed Loyola’s plans for a garden at 3434 Illinois Rd, a plot across the street from campus. The garden is being developed in part by Service Learning students using a variety of sustainable gardening methods.
Other highlights included buttons and posters made by the Art Club; performances from Loyola’s Acapella group; plant-based diet education, including samples of Impossible Nuggets (plant-based “chicken” nuggets); tie-dye with natural beets; take home plants and seeds; “environmental therapy” by the Philosophy club, a parody of Lucy Van Pelt’s “Psychiatry Booth” from Peanuts; and sustainable gazpacho compliments of the Cooking Club.
Pope Francis emphasized the importance of protecting the environment in his encyclical letter “Laudato Si.” “Our faith calls us to recognize the threat to all of God’s creation and the injustices the climate crisis enhances and to respond by being leaders for solidarity and change,” Vivona emphasized.
For over twenty years, S.A.V.E. Club has promoted and educated the Loyola community about composting, reducing PPE waste, zero plastic, plant-based diets, sustainable recipes, hydroponics and more.