Going long for green
Apr 09, 2013 | 428 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“This is the only planet that we have.”

It’s a pretty simple sentence, but its message speaks volumes far more powerful than any eight words should.

So who said it? We’ll make it easy for you. Here’s a multiple choice. As a hint, it was included in a story published in our newspaper in the March 31, 2013, edition. Was it ...

A. Jim Cantore

B. Tom Rowland

C. Al Roker

D. Gary Davis

E. Allen Mincey

F. Allan Jones

G. Dan Hartman

H. A couple of the above

I. All but one of the above

J. None of the above?

For those who selected “J,” you are correct. At least on this occasion, none of the above said it. But the person who did is a local college president. He is Dr. Carl Hite, longtime administrator of Cleveland State Community College. His topic was the school’s annual environmental awareness fair. It is known to most as, “It’s All About the Green!”

It’s a timely occasion and its time is here. CSCC’s yearly tribute to all things green will take place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the courtyard between the Administration Building and the L. Quentin Lane Gymnasium.

As always, the public is invited — encouraged, actually — to attend and admission is free. A few reasons to attend might include the food, the presentations, the entertainment and plenty of vendors. But the biggest reason to attend is their purpose for being there; that is, advocating the importance and the benefits of “going green.”

Like the life-sustaining trees on this (our “only”) planet, the number of exhibitors will be plentiful and their messages surely will stir conversation and massage the imagination.

A few of the booths will include Energy Wright Homes, to discuss energy-efficient home design; Cleveland Shade Tree Board, to provide tree care information and give away tree seedlings; Cleveland Utilities, to provide information on water and electricity conservation; USDA Forest Service, to discuss touring national forests; ABC Tree Service, to discuss the importance of tree care; SerendipityCB, to discuss all-natural body care products; Tennessee Renewable Energy, to discuss TVA green power; Land Trust for Tennessee, to provide information on land conservation; and Tennessee Wild, to provide information on wilderness advocacy.

Those are just a few. Many other businesses and organizations will be on-site.

Also, the Southeast Tennessee Resource Conservation and Development Council will conduct rain barrel workshops at 10:30 a.m. and noon. The workshops will show homeowners how rain barrels serve as an alternative water supply for gardening and landscaping while also helping to solve stormwater issues. Wannabe workshop participants should confirm your plans by calling Tracey Wright at 423-473-2341 or send an email to events@clevelandstatecc.edu. Participants also should be prepared to take a barrel home after the workshops.

If the kids aren’t interested in some of these grownup Green Day activities, they’ll have a few distractions of their own like face painting, playing games made from recycled materials, making jewelry and hair clips from recycled materials, and planting seeds in containers made from phone book pages.

In speaking of Saturday’s homage to green, Hite spoke of the school’s pride in offering this initiative which is entering its fifth year. The event just keeps getting bigger and bigger, he told us.

Saturday’s biggest beneficiaries? The first one is the surrounding community whose residents are taking a shine to green. The second is the CSCC student body.

“... As they graduate, [we hope] our students will engage in more green initiatives in this community, because this is the only planet that we have,” Hite stressed.

The popular, people-minded educator is correct.

Earth is our only planet and, try as they might, CSCC faculty, staff and students can’t save it alone. It’ll take a lot more hands, hearts and hopes.

We urge Cleveland and Bradley County residents to bring theirs to campus Saturday.