How can going out for a slice of pizza affect the planet?
Well, depending on the vehicle driven to the pizzeria or how the ingredients are made, a slice of pizza could have a butterfly effect on the whole ecosystem.
Topics like these were at the heart of City College’s Earth Day celebration held April 23 in Gorton Quad.
A larger Earth Day festival took place the prior weekend at Balboa Park. The events attracted scores of attendees who proved the Earth Day festivities would not be eclipsed by mounting concerns over the financial crisis.
City students explored a smorgasbord of eco-themed booths that focused on the environment, transportation, household products, and even pizza.
Kylie Oliver, a representative of People’s Co-op in Ocean Beach, spent her time in Gorton Quad attempting to demystify the process of food labeling.
“There’s not a lot of education about labeling,” said Oliver.
Oliver also spread awareness about Ocean Beach’s only member-owned vegetarian grocery store, People’s.
“Most people don’t realize that soy and corn is genetically engineered, unless it says so,” Oliver said.
She distributed pamphlets about the effects of genetically engineered agriculture and recommended that consumers do more research about what’s on their dinner plate.
Pizza Fusion owner Mike Walker wanted to be perfectly clear about what’s in his food.
“We use organic ingredients. And we’ve got organic, vegan and gluten-free,” said Walker about his eatery, adding that Pizza Fusion caters to customers who care about the world’s well-being.
Located in Hillcrest, Pizza Fusion also manages a fleet of hybrid vehicles – to reduce environmental impact while the pizzas are en route.
It’s all part of Walker’s vision to further the Pizza Fusion mission: “Saving the world, one pizza at a time.”
Rene Vera, a student at City College, has been to Pizza Fusion before.
“It’s worth it to spend a little more to feel better about what you eat,” Vera said.
The issue of transportation was also addressed by Earth Fair vendors.
Hybrid vehicles, electric cars and solar powered golf carts were on display. Yet, a new vehicle might not be the most affordable option for a college student.
That’s why Seamus O’Neil asked, “Why not a bike?”
O’Neil, the owner of S.O Bicycle Shop, pointed out the two most important bicycle features: They produce zero emissions and require no gasoline.
“Bikes are faster than a bus and only a little slower than a car,” he said.
When O’Neill decided to move to California, he sold his car and made a journey from Houston to San Diego on his own bicycle. The trip spanned two months.
“Cyclists have the same access to the road,” said O’Neil. “And cars should have to share the road.”
O’Neil noted how the commute between neighborhoods in the downtown vicinity was easy, because they’re all within riding distance from City College.
“And bikes,” O’Neil said, “are way easier to park than a car.”
Sometimes people forget that many destinations in the downtown area have limited parking and might require a long walk.
As the owner of a bicycle shop, O’Neil pointed out that many people already own bicycles that may only need a few minor repairs. He performed bicycle brake repairs at the festival for students, free-of-charge.