There are many ways to help save the planet, and on Wednesday, April 24, Cal State Long Beach hosted its largest sustainability event of the year to showcase some ways to do so.

The free Green Generation Mixer and Sustainability Showcase included more than 50 student-led projects that focused on sustainability solutions. The award-winning event offers students an opportunity to showcase their work with representatives from more than 30 campus and community organizations.

This year’s groups included the Sustainable Transportation/LB Public Works, Tzu Chi Collegiate Association, Long Beach Environmental Alliance, Long Beach Water, the Long Beach Surfrider Foundation chapter, Long Beach Grocery Co-op, Citizens Climate Lobby, Food Finders and more.

Student projects scattered around the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden on campus were organized into categories including business or marketing solutions; research related to public policy, education, or social issues; research related to environmental or natural sciences; and technology or engineering solutions.

“Each year, the innovative projects we see in the showcase challenges us to view sustainability through new lenses,” Lilian Ledesma, sustainability program specialist, said in a release about the event.

One of those innovative projects is the Bicycle Generator created by Jose Rodriguez, Johnathan Valdez and Emilio Lua.

According to the team, the bicycle generator is meant to be used as a backup source of electricity in the event of a blackout. The generator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. The electricity produced can then be used to power AC appliances such as cell phone chargers without having to plug the appliance into the wall.

Rodriguez, Valdez, and Lua reduced project costs by reusing materials that would have been sent to the landfill. By using recycled materials, they were able to reduce carbon footprint — showcasing the sustainability aspect of the project.

Another notable exhibit was a research project that discussed the deforestation versus the reforestation of the United States. Created by Sam Wellsfry, the poster project illustrated deforestation in the United States in 19th Century and the reforestation efforts that have been in effect since the 20th Century.

The project aims to promote the use of planting trees to fight climate change through carbon sequestration.

The Eighth Annual Green Generation Mixer was presented by the city's Office of Sustainability and the Cal State Long Beach Japanese Gardens. Sponsors included Edison International, 49ers Shops at the Beach and the Presidential Commission on Sustainability. The event is part of the university’s Earth Week celebrations.

Earth Week will wrap up with the State of the Environment conference from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at the USU Ballroom. The day-long conference will include a moderated panel discussion on the current state of the environment. Snacks and refreshments will be provided, and the event is free and open to the public. To RSVP, go to www.SOE19.eventbrite.com.

For more information about CSULB Sustainability, go to www.csulb.edu/sustainability.

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