Group plans Earth celebration

Tree huggers can come out of their hippie closetes to celebrate a greener, brighter future on Earth Day.

The Environmentally Concerned Organization of Students, will host an Earth Day Celebration on campus April 18, and then move the party to Annie’s nightclub in the evening.

On campus, the Earth Day celebration will feature guest speaker John Robbins, author of “The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and the World” at 1 p.m. in the Otto Budig Theater. Robbins will discuss the state of the environment and using alternative energy.

Larry Blake, vice president of Facilities Management, will introduce Robbins and kick off the events. Blake will discuss the changes at NKU that have made the campus more energy efficient.

Other on campus celebrations will include various booths from vendors, students and local organizations being set up in the University Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to promote Earth Day, and if weather permits it will also be held outside on the plaza level around Founders Hall . Jennifer Lantz, vice president of ECOS, said there will also be free food, raffles and games at the event.

The Earth Day celebration then goes off campus to Annie’s, located at 4343 Kellogg Ave. Annie’s will host “NKUtopia: A Better World Benefit,” from 7 p.m. to midnight April 18. Admission will be $5. Local bands Pepper town, The Newbees and the Southgate Boys will be performing. The music is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.

Besides the events. ECOS has helpded NKU make upgrades to campus furnaces and lighting, and is working to put water-conserving faucets in the bathrooms on campus, Lantz said.

ECOS is working on a Campus Climate Challenge to “unite youth on campus to change to solar energy,” said Tara Sturgill, president of ECOS. Sturgill said they are also working to increase NKU’s recycling system.

ECOS gathered 2,750 signatures from students, faculty and staff two years ago in support of a more widespread recycling program. Right now, NKU only recycles paper, Sturgill said.

About 70 percent of the proceeds from the event will aid the Twenhofel Middle School in Independence, Ky., in building an outdoor, energy-efficient classroom.