Earthly delights

May 5, 2016 3:14 PM

EcoFest brings vendors, musicians, and community together to celebrate Earth Day


Babii Cris performs
at the 10th annual
EcoFest at Laney
College on April 21.

Good vibes emanated from the crowd as attendees of the 10th Annual Peralta Ecofest Sustainability Festival meandered throughout exhibits of local vendors, campus clubs, student chefs and artists who set up booths at Laney College on April 21.

Their goal was to cultivate the community’s interest and ignite passions, to challenge old ideas and motivate people to action.Vendors through information, and to spread community awareness of
the importance of National Earth Day’s message.

Good vibes emanated from the crowd and reinforced sustainability and the strong commitment Peralta Colleges have invested to raise awareness and participation.

The crowds enjoyed perusing information materials, combing through vendors wares and listening to musical guests who offered live performances from two stages. Couples danced the afternoon away
to the music.

Another stage offered hip hop and rap artist from Hip Hop for Change. “We use hip-hop performances at local schools to connect with students and help get students involved with sustainability, community activism and awareness,” hip-hop artist and grassroots organizer Babii Cris said. Songs were also performed by hip-hop artist Tone Oliver, also a respresentative of the grassroots movement.


A band sets up to play music. The event featured dozens of vendors, multiple music stages and hundreds
of smiling faces.

The Festival reinforced Peralta Colleges’ commitment to sustainability by raising awareness through participation in areas like gardening, healthy eating and public transportation.

The Peralta Sustainability Committee, local growers, urban farmers, nurseries and gardeners presented varieties of local produce and information about how to grow healthier foods within more
sustainable gardening guidelines. Locally sourced food is a critical element to help sustain a healthier community.

The Laney College Woodworking Department booth presented some of the students’ finely crafted cutting boards. The woodworking representative divulged that these lovely boards are available for
purchase year round to interested buyers.

The Peralta Sustainability Committee, local growers, urban farmers, nurseries and gardeners presented many varieties of local produce, with information about how to grow healthier foods within more sustainable gardening guidelines. Locally grown food is a critical element that helps sustain a healthier community.

The culinary department generously offered some of their delicious gastronomical preparations at very reasonable prices.


Students take a second to chat near the Rainbow Shaved Ice vendor booth.

Conservation of our natural resources was a major message of Peralta’s Ecofest. There was much information regarding critical issues of burning fossil fuels and protecting our water supplies.

Oakland Spokes, Performance Bikes, and Bike Laney promoted cycle and bike use, tire repair service.

One vendor said, “Imagine a world without plastic bottles.” The booth only displayed a sign that read, “Boxed Water is Better.” I can imagine it, because there was no water boxed that was better or superior to water in a plastic bottle. But there is a website At the kids’ corner, children beamed with joy through painted faces, popcorn and snow cones. There were lots of cute little people in tie-dyed t-shirts.

Another part of the community was also represented. Oakland Police recruiters were on site as well as U.S. Army and National Guard representives.

EBMUD was in the house. Waste Management/CA Waste Solutions provided even more solutions to local trash and waste problems. Mario, the company representative, said, “We all have to do our part and it starts at home but also where we work, play and even at school.” He added, “There are currently systems in place on campus to help distribute waste properly.”

There was a mascot from Oakland Clean Water Action. “Plastic Bag Man” reminds us to reduce, reuse and recycle. His message will help keep plastic reusable bags out of our water systems. Mara, a
Clean Water Action representative added, “If disposed of improperly the used bags pollute water systems and cause environmental havoc. They can even end up in the digestive tract of sea animals and birds eventually, causing death.”

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