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Sierra College gets creative to celebrate Earth Day

Event runs through today
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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A “trash bag monster,” nutty tacos and locally grown planets were all vessels of the same message — respecting the Earth — at Sierra College’s Earth Day Celebration Wednesday. The two-day event at the college continues through today and includes booths of eco-conscious vendors, educational groups and performances. Samantha Kotelnicki, 23, a student in the Ecos Club, roamed the campus in a curious costume covered in 500 grocery bags, representing the amount each person uses on average in a year. The costume has been used across Northern California to spread the message of conservation. “Reuse bags,” Kotelnicki said. “This is how many bags an average person uses in a year. We are promoting for people to use reusable bags.” Across the quad, the Sierra College Botanical Society was selling plants from Eisley Nursery, located in Auburn. Lani Houck, an agriculture professor and co-adviser of the club, said the focus of the sale was education. “Most people know a few plants, but not a lot,” Houck said. Zen Landis, 20, of Roseville, is a student and member of the club. She said she hopes more people will learn about low-water plants through the society’s Earth Day booth. “Aside from getting to know about them (plants), if we got people to start planting these low-water plants, it would help lower the amount of water and energy used,” Landis said. She said Placer County has temperate conditions for growing many plants, but gardens are some of her favorite aspects of nature to enjoy. “I like ornamental landscapes,” Landis said. “I think it’s relaxing.” Hans Anderson, 22, of Roseville, said he hopes the Earth Day celebration at Sierra College will help foster people’s respect for the environment. “Nature is seen as sometimes separate from us and it’s not,” Anderson said. “We are living together, so it’s necessary to understand it. It’s definitely a blessing to be living with the plants.” The Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance sold tacos with a filling made out of specially-prepared seasoned nuts from Latitudes in Auburn. “It’s so much better,” said Rebecca Sands, of Auburn, a student and member of the alliance, when asked how the taste compares to ground beef. Two booths down the Food Preparation class created a menu of foods for sale made with locally grown ingredients. Many of the items in the foods, including Meyer lemons, persimmons and asparagus are available at the farmer’s market in Auburn or direct from local growers. Marcia Goodrich, food preparation for health and fitness professor, said there are many benefits to buying food local. “Even if the people that are growing the food locally are not organic, generally speaking they need to use far less pesticides,” Goodrich said. “They don’t have to ship it across the country and use up all that fuel. We have open spaces.” Reach Sara Seyydin at saras@goldcountrymedia.com, or follow her on Twitter @AJ_News.