Celebrate Earth Month at CLC

Erik Raaum

April is Earth Month at CLC, and the college is offering some safe and sustainable ways to celebrate.

Each week of April offers a new Earth Month Bingo card for students to fill out and bring to any CLC Lancer Zone for prizes, with activities focused on reducing plastics, energy conservation, and sustainable food.

“It’s stuff that you can do at home,” said CLC’s sustainability manager David Husemoller. “And every little bit can make a difference.”

In the last week of April, students can participate in a scavenger hunt around campus, searching for things such as the campus farm and the college’s solar panels.

CLC is also hosting tree-planting sessions, where groups up to six can schedule a time to plant trees around campus.

Not only will the trees benefit the environment, Mr. Husemoller says, but participants can also use the time to learn more about how to plant trees and what trees thrive in our local environment.

David Husemoller at a prarie burn on CLC’s campus

David Husemoller at a prarie burn on CLC’s campus

“This is a chance for people to come onto campus and get connected, literally, with campus,” said Mr. Husemoller.

Relating to Earth Month, on April 7, Lake County held an environmental town hall, where several Illinois congressional members spoke on how a variety of ecological issues around the county.

Senator Adriane Johnson and State Representatives Dan Didech and Rita Mayfield focused mainly on the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA).

According to the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition, CEJA will make it easier for Illinoisans to access renewable energy, create new jobs in clean energy, promote greener transportation, and encourage private investment in the state.

“CEJA is exactly what we need, and we need it now,” said Rep. Mayfield.

The speakers also discussed environmental justice, saying many of the county’s ecological issues disproportionately affect low-income residents.

For example, Rep. Mayfield argued in favor of closing Waukegan’s coal plant, as a speaker from Clean Power Lake County said one in three children in Waukegan has asthma or asthma-like symptoms.

The plant has significant and largely unchecked ethylene oxide emissions, a gas which, according to the EPA, “Can cause irritation of the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs, and damage to the brain and nervous system,” as well as causing cancer.

“It’s been a long time coming, but it needs to close,” Rep. Mayfield said, adding, “It should have been closed years ago.”

Rep. Didech spoke on the difficulties of fighting large energy companies.

“Protect what they’re doing, and they put up roadblocks and fights every time that we try to make progress on these important issues,” says Didech. “Ultimately, we can overcome the institutional lobbying power of these fossil fuel industries and utilities industries, we can do it, but we need your help.”

He also emphasized the importance of the “huge critical mass of grassroots support” for environmentalism in Lake County.

For Mr. Husemoller, the town hall served as “An opportunity to connect you with your community and the world around you.”