Green team hosts Earth Day

By Stephanie Ball

DJ Earth Shine swayed his CD-covered vest from side to side under a covered breezeway as tiny green lights adorning his vest flashed. Students passed the DJ as they walked among Earth Day booths in the Brookhaven College Commons Courtyard. Some students stopped and stared as the DJ bent his body to the right and positioned his vest to shine on a plant.

The Brookhaven Green Team hosted the Earth Day celebration April 11. Students and employees were invited to go from table to table to pick up information brochures and flyers on how to be eco-friendly.

Dr. Hurshel Burton, English professor, acted the role of DJ Earth Shine as he played music from his laptop and showed a video about everyday ecological issues. He was one of many employees and community volunteers who helped with the Earth Day celebration.

Burton, a member of the Green Team, said he enjoys helping others and wanted to increase student awareness on ecological issues.

“Students walked by me and did a second take because of the vest,” Burton said. “I wanted to show how musical products can be recycled.”

While Burton joked and danced for students, Helen Dulac from the Dallas Water Company sat at her table and distributed Fat Trapper grease bags. Dulac volunteered to distribute brochures and grease bags to help keep Dallas water pipes unclogged. She said it is important for people to understand how to properly dispose of grease and fat.

“Anything that comes from meat goes into a bag, which is placed in the trash,” Dulac said. “Cooking oil that is plant-based can be placed in a plastic container with a lid and recycled at pick-up stations.”

A plant oil recycling station is on campus near the baseball field and East-1 parking. Dulac said the oil is later turned into fuel for school buses. She said she hopes people learn that if they dispose of the oil in the right way, they will save their pipes and save the city money.

Another group who worked to recycle and raise funds was the Big Green Bear Spring Cleaning Event team. The organization, led by Deborah Whaley-Stephenson, 50+ Program professor, sold donated items to raise money for scholarships, the employee emergency fund and the book fund.

The sale raised $157. The volunteers said they would take unsold items to the Metrocrest Social Services of Carrollton-Farmers Branch, a non-profit organization that helps families during financial and emotional crises.

Edeleu Florendo, program services coordinator, volunteered at the sale and said they had a good number of shoppers.

“I don’t know that we had a goal amount to raise,” Florendo said. “We were just trying to help students out as much as possible.”

A few feet away from the sale tables sat a large dome-shaped tent with a green label: ShelterBox. Bruce Heller, Texas ShelterBox representative, said the volunteer-based organization delivers aid and relief to natural disaster sites all around the world.

“We give each family a green box that holds everything they need within 48 hours after a disaster,” Heller said. “We [were] already on the ground before FEMA was – after Katrina and in Haiti.”

The green box provides shelter and supplies for up to 10 people with blankets, tools, cooking supplies, a stove, a water purification system and a tent with treated mosquito nets.

Heller said the organization depends on donations and he hopes to spread the word about the organization so it can keep providing emergency relief.

As the volunteers took the tent down in under two minutes and packed up the green box, DJ Earth Shine played one last song and joked he may jog wearing his CD vest one day.

“I want students to look at the big picture and look at what is going on around us,” Burton said. “It is so easy to get caught up in daily life.”