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2008.04.24 > For Immediate Release
contact: Tim Kaldahl - University Relations
phone: 402.554.3502 - email: tkaldahl@mail.unomaha.edu

Choose to Reuse Event Set for April 30

Omaha - To close out Nebraska Public Health Month and to follow-up on Earth Day, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Chapter of Eta Sigma Gamma, a national health education honorary organization, will stage an event, “Choose to Reuse,” on Wednesday, April 30.  Activities will take place at the UNO Pep Bowl, near the south entrance to Eppley Administration Building.

The event will raise awareness about the plastic bag problem and celebrate the communities and stores that have banned plastic bags. Hundreds of plastic bags will be on display to illustrate how ubiquitous and numerous they are.

The average American uses at least 600 plastic bags per year. These bags litter the environment, aren't biodegradable, are petroleum based products, are hazardous to wildlife and are wasteful in that they are not generally reused or recycled and are only used for a short amount of time and then discarded, said David Corbin, professor of health education and public health and an event organizer.

“We will be urging people to use and reuse cloth bags instead of using plastic or paper bags,” said Shandy Ramet, Eta Sigma Gamma president.  Paper bags are a big environmental problem, too, she added.

Free cloth bags will be distributed while supplies last at the event.

From 11 a.m. until noon the “Chicobag Bag Monster” will be on campus to express an opposing viewpoint.

“You’ll have to see it to believe it,” Corbin said. 

The Bag Monster (actually a volunteer in a costume made out of hundreds of plastic bags) will “advocate” for even greater use of plastic.  A short video of the Bag Monster on the streets of San Francisco is available for viewing at chicobag.com

For further information, please contact Ramet or Corbin at 554-2670.  Online, information is available at both http://www.unomaha.edu/healthed/choosetoreuse.html  and http://www.myspace.com/choosetoreuse.

* * *

UNO will celebrate its 100th anniversary beginning October 8, 2008. This celebration will recognize the partnership among the City of Omaha, its citizens and UNO to build a vibrant and dynamic community. The centennial theme is “UNO: Central To Our City Since 1908.” This theme acknowledges the past contributions of UNO to the community and sets the stage for great things to come.

UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908. For Centennial information, go to http://www.unomaha.edu/100/.

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