Santa Monica College (SMC) will celebrate Earth Week with an EcoFabulous Event Tuesday, April 24th, which will feature an environmental fair, speakers, free organic food and prizes ó and the release of the 2005-06 SMC Environmental Audit.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the SMC Clock Tower, 1900 Pico Blvd.

It is sponsored by the SMC Associated Students, SMC Center for Environmental and Urban Studies, SMC Eco-Action Club and Sustainable Works, a nonprofit program housed at SMC that trains students and Santa Monica residents to live ìgreenerî lives.

Speakers, scheduled for 11:15 a.m., include SMC president Dr. Chui L. Tsang, Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom, Santa Monica City Councilman Kevin McKeown and keynote speaker Paul Scott, who will talk about the benefits of solar energy.

The event will also include the release of the SMC 2005-06 Environmental Audit, a comprehensive report that looks at campus practices in transportation, water and energy use, waste and recycling, food service and curriculum. The audit is available at www.smc.edu/ceus/greencam pus.htm/.

ìThis audit report contains some exciting ideas and we look forward to studying it carefully to see how we can make an eco-friendly campus even greener,î said Tsang.

Work on the audit began last year. Initiated by students in SMCís Eco-Action Club, the volunteer effort has involved students, professors, staff and administrators and has been over- seen by a special subcommittee of the SMC Academic Senateís Environmental Affairs Committee.

Students include Eco-Action club members and those enrolled in environmental studies courses and in Sustainable Crews, an extra-credit environmental program facilitated by the nonprofit Sustainable Works.

Dr. Garen Baghdasarian, director of SMCís Center for Environmental and Urban Studies and chair of the Environmental Affairs Committee, said the college already has an excellent track record on environmental issues.

ìItís really a matter of making a great college even better,î he said.

This is the first time since 1993 that the college has conducted an environmental audit.

After the 1993 study, SMC changed many of its practices, particularly in the areas of curriculum (including the creation of the Center for Environmental and Urban Studies), water conservation and recycling.

Since then, SMC has gained a reputation for having one of the best recycling programs in the state.

SMC recycles 86 percent of its waste (65 percent if construction waste is excluded) and is known for its ìunique worm composting projectî that turns three tons of SMC cafeteria garbage each year into clean and organic fertilizer, said SMC spokesman Bruce Smith.

In addition, SMC has made a concerted effort to ensure that its buildings are as eco-friendly as possible through such features as the use of natural ventilation, efficient lighting and waterless urinals.

And the Sustainable Works program ó which is located in the SMC Center for Environmental and Urban Studiesí Pearl Street house and is partially funded by the City of Santa Monica ó trains about 400 SMC students a year in green living.

The students in turn, spread the word by making classroom presentations, performing community service or embarking on other projects to make their fellow students and community members more eco-savvy.

ìThis audit has allowed students to apply their knowledge in a challenging and innovative way,î said Genevieve Bertone, executive director of Sustainable Works.

Information, Bertone at (310) 458-8716.

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