DePaul hosts Earth Day events on campus


Emily Soto

Divvy spokespeople talked to students about the sustainable benefits of using Divvy bikes.

The sound of chatter and giggling echo throughout the Lincoln Park Student Center on Earth Day.

Smiles are on the faces of students who file in line to pot small succulents. Divvy spokespeople talk to students about the $5 student deal for annual bike usage, to which students drop their jaws at. Students fill plates with fresh fruit that lay out across long tables.

DePaul Activities Board (DAB) hosted an Earth Day event on April 22. The event was geared to bring the Earth Day experience indoors since rain poured down throughout most of the day.

Ankit Pal, DAB president and senior, said the board tries to put on events like this to spark change. With this event Pal said the board wanted students to be able to learn how to become more sustainable.

“One of my goals this year as president was to create experiences that students couldn’t otherwise get,” Pal said. “So the first week of school, [there was a] Ferris wheel on campus. The point of this is if you can’t afford to go to [Navy Pier and ride the] ferris wheel, we can bring something to you. Sometimes you can’t go out and explore some of these things. And so we’re trying to create those experiences on campus. And so Earth Day is one of those things. Not everybody has a garden, right? So we can create that.”

DePaul student Monique Rivera said she grabbed a friend and went to the event so she and her friend could pot a succulent. Rivera said she loves plants and caring for them.

“[I like how this event is] helping people be more aware about plant life,” Rivera said. “A lot of this stuff here is biodegradable like I know the forks [we are using for the fruit are]. And we have Divvy here so [they are teaching people that] instead of taking a car or public transportation you can ride around in a bike, which I think is very cool.”

Divvy spokesperson Nyya Flores Toussaint said Divvy bikes are a great representation of how to be sustainable when commuting as a student.

“They are a great way for us to think about saving the environment, right?” Flores Toussaint said. “It is Earth Day. And rather than grabbing a Lyft or an Uber, we can jump on a bike.”

Flores Toussaint said another benefit to the bikes is their affordability, which is what the Divvy spokespeople were trying to make students aware of at the event. Flores Toussaint said Divvy has a program that is accommodating to people who are low-income or students. He said the bikes only cost $5 for an entire year of use of unlimited 45 minute bike rides.

“What I love about [the bikes] is that we share them,” Flores Toussaint said. “I think that’s really cool. It’s really a sense of camaraderie and community [when we] share these bikes. I think that’s a really powerful thing, especially as we think of less waste and being a little bit more minimalistic in our lives, how we can share things.”

Pal said he encourages students to take advantage of the various affordable ways students can become more sustainable on campus. Pal said this event is a tradition and it will continue in future years. He said he looks forward to seeing what future students will do to continue making the university and themselves become more sustainable.