Robert Hoffmann said a few simple steps can help preserve the Earth and prevent climate change.
“It’s not like you have to give up everything,” the State College resident said. “It’s as simple as turning off the lights in your house when you’re not using them, or turning up — or off — the AC when you’re not home. … If you still want to spoil yourself, you can, but also be friendly to the Earth and atmosphere.”
Hoffmann stood for most of Saturday afternoon near Sidney Friedman Park near Fraser Street with a sign in his hands that read, “This is our only Earth. Save it.”
He was among guests who visited and campaigned for the inaugural Central Pennsylvania People’s Climate Day event, organized about six weeks ago, to promote associations in Centre County that help protect the Earth from climate change.
“We wanted to celebrate things in this region, like the university and scientists and community members who help protect the environment and climate,” site organizer Christine Robinson said. “The things they do are impressive, but many people might not know about it.”
Robinson said the event was also organized to help educate people on what they can do to protect the environment.
“Many people want to do something, but maybe they don’t know where to start,” she said. “This is a good resource for that. There is a lot of buzz and excitement around this topic, and it’s a really good way to connect with the community.”
The event featured live entertainment and about 50 vendors, including Penn State and State College-area organizations.
A group of students from the State College Area School District Delta Program were also on hand to help with cleanup and facilitate projects such as poetry writing, face painting and making crafts from recycled material.
Sophomore Walter Keiler said he helped pick up trash from the event downtown. He then assisted people who wanted to try their hand at writing poetry inspired by the surroundings.
“At school, they require us to do community service, so this was a good cause to help out at,” he said.
Keiler said the school makes it mandatory for each student to complete 30 hours of community service each school year.
Classmates Alice Hamilton and Helen Grace Hoffman, both sophomores, and junior Emma Galley also said they were able to check off community service hours and see firsthand some things they learned in the classroom.
“This kind of stuff comes up in science, but it’s nice to see how the community is doing their part,” Hamilton said about climate change and taking care of the Earth.
She was also encouraged by her mother, Nancy Hamilton, to tag along. As a hobby, Nancy Hamilton creates art from recycled goods, and had set up an arts and crafts booth on Fraser Street for the event.
“I sometimes see something and then have another vision for it,” she said. “I kind of get a kick out of making things from nothing.”
Her booth encouraged visitors to make collages from old magazine clips and make magnets from bottle tops.
“It’s simple and easy things you can make and they’re not going in the garbage and landfill,” Nancy Hamilton said.