Earthkeepers are planning to start the fall off with a bang by hosting numerous activities for students to participate in from Oct. 1 to Oct. 6. Some of the activities that have already happened were bread baking on Monday, the talk about the dangers of coal hosted in Common Grounds on Tuesday, and the farm tour held yesterday.
One activity that has not taken place yet is the Northend Greenway Parklet Project Friday (5 p.m. – 8 p.m.) and Saturday (8 a.m. – noon). This project aims to show you what the city would look like with more urban parking lots by turning parking spaces into little “parklets.” Earthkeepers will have a booth on both days that you can stop by and visit.
On Monday the bread baking took place. Students from all over the campus came to Cedarwood’s 2nd floor kitchen to try and become master bread makers. The students were taught by Professor Tara Kishbaugh to make pretzels, oatmeal bread, easy loaves and for the daring chalet bread.
“I enjoy the physical process of making bread: the kneading gets your stress out, the shaping can be creative. I like fiddling with recipes and seeing how the dough determines what kind of bread you get.” said Tara Kishbaugh.
Brittany Dorman,First-Year, let her dough rise for 30 minutes then watched her pretzels turn golden brown in the oven. Bread baking was an adventure and exciting for all that participated.
Tuesday night at 8 p.m., The Beehive Design Collective presented the True Cost of Coal, a “visual workshop and storytelling on coal power, climate change, and sustainability.” The Beehive Design Collective’s mission is to make people more aware of serious world issues by using posters that explain the issues in ways easy enough for most people to understand.
The organization is rooted in Eastern Maine. Since their founding in 2000 they have distributed over 70,000 handmade posters. The two speakers, Molly and Tyler, started the discussion off about mountain top removal, an incredibly destructive way to remove coal from mountains. In the mountain top removal process, the top level of the mountain is sometimes blown off, and the mining companies cut down the trees and take everything they need without much concern over the mountain.
The mountain top removal process also affects the community because of Sludge dams. Sludge dams are manmade dams that are used to clean the coal. They create toxic water, that could break and flood cities.
The talk was split into a few different sections, including one focused on the past. They talked about coal mine unions and how coal mining practices have evolved over time. In the 1950s there was significant job loss because of new coal mining machines. They also talked about the practices of coal mining and its effects on the environment and its people.
In coal mining towns, young people may move out because their options are to stay and help destroy the mountains or leave and find other work. Coal mining has a negative effect on the climate that could have dire consequences on our land.
The final chapter of the lecture was about resisting. People are getting together and refusing to sell their land to coal companies, and are trying to take legal action to protect mountains. Even college students are trying to help in efforts to protect the environment. In the future they want us to go back to the old mindset. They appreciate the Native Americans and how they treated the land with respect and thought themselves equal with it and not above it.
One student that is passionate about the coal issue is First-Year, Megan Garcia Sheridan who said, “I thought the presentation was very moving and opened our eyes to what reality really is. No matter if we try to change our own habits, it won’t be enough; we need to spread the word to everyone and do more than change our ways. We need to remember how to listen to the environment and make an effort to make a dent in the pollution and the destruction that we have caused and are still causing to our home.”
Alicia A. Calkins, Staff Writer
Devon Fore, News Editor