Trash on wheels
Some use feathers, some use paint and some even use trash.
Members of the University of Arizona Ecology club have opted to construct their Homecoming Float completely out of trash to "stress the importance of recycling and the importance of natural resources," said president Eric Mitzel, an ecology and evolutionary biology junior.
The club is in its second year as a recognized organization at the UA and consists of 20 undergraduate students who are mostly ecology and evolutionary biology majors.
The 1999 UA Homecoming theme is "It's Been a Wildcat Century" and the Ecology Club has decided to represent the importance of cleaning up the environment with their float.
"The float looks like recyclables in a green bin," said Mitzel, adding that the design will be in the shape of an "A."
The recyclables include newspapers, cardboard, Coke Bottles and milk cartons.
"Sororities and fraternities get sponsors for their floats, which we didn't even know we could. We have no money in our treasury, so we just collected trash and made a float," said Andre Guerra, vice president of the club. "It was cheap."
"We spent a lot of time in something we believe in," Mitzel said. "And I think, it is beautiful."
This is the first year the club has participated in the parade.
Last spring the club traveled to the Center for Marine and Desert Studies at Rocky Point, Mexico. They assisted in improving the wet labs at the center - where students examine marine materials in a laboratory setting - as well as helping to build the visitor center where schools travel, in order to further examine marine life and utilize the nearby tide pools.
The club's next activity will be traveling to Sonoita Creek near Patagonia to clean up trails and plant trees.
"Basically (our goal is) to preserve the piece of land and to keep the area as green as possible," said Mitzel.
Guerra said the club is completely based on volunteer service.
"Our club is solely based on common service, there is no fees ... we just get things cleaned up," said Guerra, a general biology senior.
The club is different than the Recycling Club, which provides trash bins in the residence halls to make recycling easier for those living in the dorms.
However, the Ecology club wants to team up with the Recycling Club for an all-campus project in a massive recycling venture later this year.
"We both believe in the preservation of the natural resources, to reuse materials and not having to gather from nature," Mitzel said.