Bags, beats and bees

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(COLLIN JAMES /The Inquirer)

collin james

Bee keepers, activists, electric car enthusiasts, local community-run farms, and large corporations like PG&E; filled the many booths set up in front of the DVC cafeteria for Earth Day on Monday, April 22. Many were designed to raise awareness on environmental issues like the decline of bees, while others capitalized on environmentalist culture by selling reusable bags and tie dye shirts.

Earth Day was celebrated at DVC to raise awareness for healthy personal living as well as positive interaction with the environment.

The Roger’s Ranch, is a historically community-run garden that offers growing classes, catering to culinary arts students. For gardeners and farmers, this week marks the beginning of the spring growing season for many crops like tomatoes.

One promoter of the farm remarked, “the weather up until this week was too cold for growing, so there is still plenty of time to start planting!”

Many booths were set up to bring public attention to certain human behaviors that impact the community, as well as the environment. Many of these, such as improper disposal of waste, can have a disastrous effect on the communities. Small changes in behavior, such as properly disposing of grease and trash go a long way in helping the entire Bay Area.

One of the biggest attractions of the day was a drum circle in front of the Norseman, led by Benjamin Ofori, a native of the West African country of Ghana. Ofori is a master of traditional African instruments who brought his students to perform, many of whom are also students at DVC. He was very enthusiastic about his instruments and was more than happy to educate his audience on the meaning, history, and sound produced by his drums. Drum beats from the traditional Kobotu and the popular Djembe are often accompanied by a traditional dance.

The Bay Area as a whole, is one of the more environmentally friendly areas in America. Alameda and San Francisco County have both imposed a tax on all plastic bags and a similar trend may follow Contra Costa County. San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland repeatedly rank amongst the greenest cities in America. However, many cities celebrated Earth Day last Saturday which was coincidentally 4/20 or “Weed Day.”

One Berkeley native joked, “It’s a shame so many people care more about smoking pot than planting pots.”

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