Third Annual Cool Kids ECO-Fest at GCC

Bring E-Scrap! Bring Old Sneakers! Bring the family!
Genesee’s Earth Club, Student Activities & College Village
Team Up with Cool Kids for an Earth Day Celebration on April 17th

Genesee Community College Earth Club, Student Activities Office, and College Village are joining Cool Kids to collectively produce the third annual Cool Kids ECO-Fest, a fun-filled, yet educational program aimed at increasing awareness of important environmental issues and opportunities. All portions of the event are free and open to the public and scheduled on Thursday, April 17, 2008 from 5:00 until 8:00 PM at Genesee Community College’s Batavia Campus with most events occurring in the College’s central Forum.

Cool Kids ECO-Fest 2008 includes numerous exhibits, presentations, activities, and prizes, and is an ideal experience for anyone interested in celebrating Earth Day. Several hundred people of all ages are expected to attend the event.
“We’re all about green is cool,” Steve Appleton, founder and Cool Kids president said. “We want you to recycle, reduce, and reuse—and have fun doing it! So-bring your (old) sneakers and E-scrap from home! You could win a mountain bike! Plus we’re bringing back some of the most popular events such as the residential ‘E-Scrap Drive’ and WOWEE wildlife program.”

Through active participation in ECO-Fest and pre-ECO-Fest initiatives, such as submitting a piece of original art to the Earth Day Art Contest or assisting with the Nature Trail revitalization effort, attendees increase their chances of winning a 21-speed Mountain Bike from Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle, which is the grand finale event of the evening when the winning ticket is drawn from the ECO-Raffle Ticket Box. (The winner must be present at ECO-Fest to be awarded the bike.)

“Our roving ‘Green Police’ will be giving out Raffle tickets for all kinds of green initiatives,” Appleton said. “From wearing green to participating in the Campus Clean-up; using the recycled bottles and cans boxes to contributing an ECO-Tip at the Earth Club’s table; making an origami Peace Crane to donating sneakers to the sneaker collection barrel—there are multiple ways to participate and to get chances to win the mountain bike.”

One way to earn a raffle ticket is through the “E-Scrap Drive,” which recognizes that one of the most rapidly growing items of garbage today is “E-scrap” consisting of computers, monitors, television sets, mobile phones, printers, scanners, game consoles, and other electronics, as well as non alkaline batteries that operate these devices. The U.S. alone produces more than 220 million tons of (non-battery) E-scrap annually, which typically contains materials that require special handling and recycling methods.

Companies such as Regional Computer Recycling and Recovery (RCR&R) of Rochester harvest the precious metals from E-scrap, remanufacture some items, and/or properly process and dispose of the waste products. RCR&R is again hosting Cool Kids ECO-Fest’s “E-Scrap Drive” on April 17th and will be providing drive-up, curb side service in the parking lot nearest the College’s Steiner Theatre building. (Please note: No business e-waste or lamps. The only kitchen appliances accepted will be microwave ovens, and car batteries are not accepted.)

Adjacent to the E-Scrap Drive, Sloat Tire Shop of Batavia will be joining forces with Pump ’Em Up, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to fuel conservation, to help citizens get more mileage out of each tank of gasoline through properly inflated tires. Sloat Tire Shop will have their truck positioned to check tire pressure and properly inflate as necessary and give away a limited number of free tire pressure gauges—compliments of Pump ‘Em Up.

New this year, and also outside in the parking lot will be the AAA of Western New York’s mercury light switch-out. This free service replaces the mercury vapor switch in the under-the-hood lights of cars that are older than 2002. The switch-out typically takes less than five minutes and is conducted by trained professionals. Raffle tickets will be given to those who participate in both the Pump ‘Em Up and mercury light switch-out as well.

This year’s ECO-Fest will again feature the “Big Bag Bash” highlighting the fact that the average American family uses 900 plastic bags per year, adding a significant amount of trash to landfills. ECO-Fest organizers will cleverly display 900 bags and unveil them in dramatic fashion as part of the evening’s festivities. In addition, an assortment of reusable shopping bags will be given away compliments of numerous stores from the area.

Other Cool New Eco-Festivities

The Earth Day Art Contest, sponsored by Genesee’s Earth Club and Present Tense Books and Gifts encourages people of all ages to submit original artwork that celebrates the spirit of Earth Day. Prizes will be awarded in five categories: Literary Arts (story, poem, or essay), Visual Arts (painting, photography, sculpture, crafts), Multimedia Arts (artwork that combines literary and visual components), Children's Arts (artwork submitted by children under age 12), and Use of Recycled Materials (artwork that incorporates recycled items).

Entries may be dropped off at Present Tense (101 Washington Ave.) or at Genesee Community College, Office D110, by April 11, 2008. Entries will be displayed at Genesee's Eco-Fest and the winning entries will then be on display at Present Tense for several weeks. An artist's reception will be held at Present Tense on Saturday, April 19, 2008. Entry forms are available at www.presenttensebooks.com.

Other new activities this year include Monroe County Environmental Services collection of used sneakers for reuse into running track material and smart center Buffalo, a dealership specializing in smart cars, will bring several of these innovative, ecologically friendly cars to display. Sold and driven overseas for several years, the smart car just became available in the US in January 2008. Averaging 40 mpg city, the entire smart for two model is 95% recyclable - from the body panels, glass, the seats, even the fluids such as coolant, oil, and brake fluid are all recycled after use.

As part of the day’s events, the newly renovated Nature Trail will be unveiled at Genesee Community College at 1:00 PM. Under a President’s Innovation Award grant, the nature trail located in the woodlands along the western fringe of the College’s property has been cleaned up, new directional signage has been put in place, and numerous bluebird boxes have been erected and a new Nature Guide is available highlighting the various foliage and animal species in the area.
“It’s all in the spirit of learning that going green isn’t only the right thing to do, it’s cool,” Appleton said. “And more importantly—that every day is Earth Day. Every day is a Green Day!”

For further information, please contact representatives of Cool Kids or the Earth Club, or see the websites below. 

-  Steve Appleton, Cool Kids Director, 585-637-3984 or email at: coolkids@rochester.rr.com or go to: www.generationcool.biz 

-  Donna Rae Sutherland, Genesee Community College’s staff advisor to the Earth Club, and the Associate Director of Marketing Communications, 585-343-0055 x 6616. dsutherland@genesee.edu.

smart cars: www.smartusa.com

Pump ‘Em Up: http://www.pumpemup.org/

WOWEE: www.woweewildlife.org

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