The people at Schenectady County Community College were so excited for this year's Earth Day that they celebrated the annual holiday nearly a week early.
While Earth Day was Tuesday, April 22, representatives from environmental organizations from around the region set up informational tables in the college's Elston Hall Student Center on Thursday, April 17.
Exhibitors included Capital/Saratoga Energy $mart Communities, The Environmental Clearinghouse Inc., the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Schenectady County Department of Economic Development and Planning.
Highlights of the event included tours of a new CDTA hybrid bus and a talk by David Hennessy, associate professor and chair of the business and law department. Hennessy's talk focused on the environment and politics. He said he thought the only way for politicians to make an impact on the environment is for voters to make ecology and energy conservations into issues of national importance on par with the war in Iraq and health care.
It's about putting the environment first because it's a long-term concern, said Hennessy.
It seemed the SCCC Science Club, who ran a booth at the event, had already put Hennessy's advice to action. The group offered free canvas tote bags to their fellow students, urging them to use them at grocery stores instead of plastic bags. The students also handed out egg cartons filled with vegetable and flower seeds.
Chelsea Bennett, a science club member and student at SCCC, said she recycles, uses longer-lasting florescent light bulbs and tries to avoid using plastic bags.
When asked if the environment would be an important issue in the upcoming presidential election, Bennett and her science club cohorts responded with a resounding, "Yes."
"As long as it's a Democrat," one of the students added.
According to Hennessy, that student might be right. He said studies have shown that the public trusts Democrats more than Republicans when it comes to environmental issues.