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Annual Earth Day Festival Puts Food in Spotlight

By Ifeoluwa T. Obayan, Crimson Staff Writer

Enjoying live music, free food, and plenty of sunshine, students and Cantabrigians gathered in the Science Center Plaza Saturday afternoon for the Environmental Action Committee’s annual Earth Day Festival.

The festival featured tables from various environmental groups on campus and the Greater Boston area, live music from bands from across Harvard, and free items and food. The theme this year, entitled Feed Change, focused on sustainable food.

John D. Bowers ’18 said he and his fellow Earth Day Festival co-chair Lexi M. Smith ’18, spent the last several months contacting restaurants, organizations on campus and in the in the area that specialize in sustainability, particularly with an emphasis on food.

The EAC, a student group affiliated with the umbrella student service organization Phillips Brooks House Association, obtained food donations from Iggy’s Bread, J.P. Licks, Insomnia Cookies, and Otto’s Pizza.

“There is a really vibrant community surrounding sustainable food both at Harvard and in the greater Cambridge area,” Bowers said. “It’s something that is becoming more and more integrated into all of our lives.”

Bowers said the group added an interactive component to the festival, engaging people with the table holders by encouraging them to collect a sticker from the organization at each stop. The incentives provided for a certain amount of stickers included a free water bottle and a chance to win a portable solar charger for mobile devices.

Members from Divest Harvard, the student activist group demanding the University remove its investments from the fossil fuel industry, were also present. Board member Naima Drecker-Waxman ’18 said they were there to talk with people about the arrests at their sit-in earlier this month and also to provide more information about their campaign.

Drecker-Waxman said the festival is an opportunity for different environmental groups to get together and have a chance to celebrate.

“The work we’re doing can be a big challenge,” Drecker-Waxman said. “We’re up against really huge forces when we talk about things like climate change. Having a moment to also celebrate the Earth and connect is really important to revitalizing people’s energy and reminding them what they’re doing the work for.”

The festival, which was previously held in the MAC Quad, moved to the Science Center Plaza this year.

“There is a lot more traffic here, and we’ve seen really great attendance as a result of that,” Bowers said. “Moving forward we’ll definitely consider having it here again.”

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