Member Kazie Douglas talks about his Fall 2018 PSU Homecoming Parade experience with Eco-Action ~
I have never been in the homecoming parade in all my years at Penn State, so I decide to a part of the event this year for Eco-Action as I am now a senior. It was a new experience for me, but before I discuss the homecoming parade let me go back a week before the parade. We wanted to bring attention to the excess consumption of single use plastic, which includes straws and plastic bottles. At that time, I was not sure what to draw on my individual poster for the parade. There were several posters created which included a cut out turtle attached to a bamboo trunk that had “Straw Free PSU” written on it, as well as “Join the Green Side” sign and factual signs such as “20,000 plastic bottles are used very second”. The one that I design stated, “Don’t be suckers for single-use plastic”. I tried to draw a straw with eyes with blood veins popping out. Although, I was not very successful in that regard because the straw ended up looking like a boomerang, I did greatly enjoy making signs for the parade at a club meeting prior to the event. The day of the parade, we stayed on the field behind the Wagner building and near the Natatorium until we were signaled to line up with the other Penn state clubs.
I saw a number of clubs that I had never heard of before and did know that they even existed. After some time (really took longer than I expected) we were finally called up to line up and started walking down the street. As I said before, being in the homecoming parade was a new experience for me, one that I particularly enjoyed. We were marching down the street holding our signs and chanting. Ahmed (one of our members) was the one doing most of the chatting. He would scream “save the turtles, recycle!” and other things to rally the crowd. It had a major effect on the crowd since people were also yelling save the turtles and recycle. I felt a sense of together-ness and comradery that I haven’t felt before. I honestly do not remember how long the parade lasted, but we walked from Curtain Rd to W College Ave to Burrows Rd in total. We manage to get our statement across and have an enjoyable time doing it.
I found that the homecoming parade was an excellent experience for everyone involved as well as good way to promote the reduction of single use plastic. We all were able to bond through the experience and feel connected to something bigger than ourselves as well which I truly enjoyed.