Isla Vista Celebrates Earth Day With Earth-Friendly Festivities


Marissa Perez
Staff Writer

Photo by John Clow

Isla Vista Earth Day drew a crowd of both University of California, Santa Barbara students and community members from all around Isla Vista to celebrate.

First-year biology major and Environmental Affairs Board Volunteer Chair, Kai Wilmsen, noticed the diversity of the attendees.

“It’s great to bring the community together for an event like this. You get students but you also get families with kids; it’s the kind of thing you can only get in IV,” said Wilmsen.

The event featured performances from musical groups Naked Voices, The Originalites, Evan Blum, All Mixed Up, Sky Tuned, The Olés, The Fire Department, and Big Tree as well as a performance featuring music and dance by Iaorana Te Otea. The festivities ensued from afternoon until late evening in People’s Park.

IV Earth Day boasted a variety of informative booths, games, and activities, all focused on keeping the event as having as close to zero waste as possible.

“This year’s theme is ‘We can only take so much’,” explained third-year biology major Tessa Balboni, who serves as co-chair for EAB.

“We encouraged people to bring their own shirts to screen print instead of buying them and we have things like the clothing swap. We tried to limit the amount of waste and only give away useful items…We don’t want too much stuff,” added EAB’s campus activities coordinator Kyle Fischler, a fourth-year environmental science and communication double major. People were also able to trade in collected pieces of trash from around IV for tokens to use at these trading booths.

Even without the promise of free prizes, the event drew students and IV residents with activities like slack-lining, free screen printing, henna, face paint, hula hooping, and the opportunity to plant and take home spices or other useful plants. Several organizations also set up informative booths on a wide variety of environmental topics, such as how to properly sort trash, and engaged Isla Vista in activities like repainting the cigarette butt collectors that are scattered throughout the community.

“This is EAB’s 21st year of existence,” Balboni said. “We’ve had an Earth Day event for probably almost that long.”

“Santa Barbara Earth Day gets the Santa Barbara community out to celebrate,” Fischler said. “This is something to bring it to IV for the IV community; it has a little bit different vibe.”

EAB meets on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in the Graduate Student Association lounge on the second floor of the Multi-Cultural Center.

“We encourage not just environmental science or biology majors to get involved with EAB and environmental events. Environmentalism is a really holistic subject…It’s really hard to demonstrate that a lot of the things we want to do are feasible without the econ. majors and the people from these other disciplines there to support us,” said Fischler. “Besides special events [like IV Earth Day], we have a lot of other activities and a lot of campus campaigns.”