Pieces of orange loquat and banana spun in a blender attached to a stationary bicycle as a Texas State student sat on the seat and pedaled.
Texas State and San Marcos organizations celebrated the 2012 Earth Day on April 18. The Quad was filled with displays of handmade energy-efficient devices, movie screenings, nature walks, petitions and donation requests.
Katherine Tritsch, geography-resource and environmental studies senior, was responsible for the “bike machine blender.” She said her inspiration came from members of a permaculture community in Oregon during her six-week nature and heritage tourism internship through the Texas State department of geography.
Members of the Oregon permaculture community had created a bicycle-powered washing machine.
“Permaculture’s very DIY: do it yourself,” Tritsch said. “Use the energy that you have available to make the things that you need.”
Parts for the “bike machine blender,” such as the roller skate wheel and zip ties helping the blender spin in place, were from Green Guy Recycling and community member donations.
Tritsch said she would like to collaborate with The Bike Cave and host workshops on how to create the “bike machine blender.” The device takes less than a day to construct and is energy efficient.
Permaculture students made smoothies using the bicycle-powered blender to energize participants, but the Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO) provided plants and reusable bags in an effort to nourish the planet.
Housed in the Texas State Department of Geography, the organization hosted Earth Day In The Quad.
Elle Minter, biology senior and organization co-president, said members do more than just planning the on-campus Earth Day event. They volunteer with hyacinth removal in the San Marcos River and with the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance.
The organization sold tie-dye T-shirts to promote Bike to School Day on April 19.
Bike to School Day will provide those who purchased an ECO T-shirt with a free event logo screen print, Minter said.
The organization WaterAid hoped to quench the thirst of cyclists and pedestrians alike through educational literature and donations during Earth Day in the Quad.
The Texas State WaterAid chapter educated people about global water scarcity and sanitation issues during the event.
Maia Holmes, Texas State WaterAid chapter president, said she founded the on-campus organization two years ago after reading an article in National Geographic about global water scarcity issues.
“It totally blew my mind,” said Holmes, geography-resource and environmental studies senior. “For a while I felt really hopeless, and then realized I could do something about it. I could start an organization and have a small impact on campus.”
In an effort to impact not only the Texas State campus, organization members requested denim donations to help people nationwide.
Holmes said the Texas State WaterAid chapter is hosting a “Cotton. From Blue to Green” denim drive.
The drive is part of Cotton Incorporated’s collegiate initiative to give “new life” to denim by converting it into UltraTouch Denim Insulation. The insulation is then donated to Habitat for Humanity.
“It’s just as effective as any other mainstream insulation, minus the chemicals and stuff like that. So it’s actually much cleaner,” Holmes said.
She said the Texas State WaterAid chapter’s goal is to collect at least 500 pieces of denim, the amount it takes to insulate one house.
A community drop box is located at Core Running until April 20.