An event on campus I attended, and participated in, was the Earthstock Bloc Party on April 21. The first use of rhetoric in this event was the kairos of the event. The event coordinators strategically created this event a day before Earth Day, not only emphasizing themselves as an environmentally conscious event but also promoting sustainable and environmentally friendly action that could be implemented on Earth Day. For example, they handed out tree saplings to plant. Centering their event around Earth Day makes their argument for sustainable living a powerful fitting response as people will already be considering ways to be environmentally friendly on Earth Day.
The event itself did not intend for just an environmentally conscious audience. Their aim was to raise awareness and promote environmentally conscious behavior in anyone across campus. Using the “Agora” of our campus, the green space, the event garnered a lot of traffic from any person passing by. the event consisted of more than just planting trees and fun facts about the environment. Food became a large attraction for people to come. People were grilling food to hand out as well as sweet treats. As well as tempting people to come to the event, these booths also served a purpose for promoting organic food. Some booths used sweets to gain people’s attention, however, told them they could get candy if they answered a question about sustainability, once again combining people’s desires with the event’s intentions.
I had a unique perspective while attending the event because not only did I walk through the booths, but I also had my own booth that our Commons Campaign group organized. We also used food as a way to lure people to our booth, although the KitKats weren’t organic, unfortunately. We experienced first-hand what rhetorical strategies would bring people to our booth, as well as what would convince them to sign our petition for reducing waste on campus. We quickly came to realize we had to catch people’s attention with our booth, since there were many more to look at. We did so by asking people if they’d like to reduce waste on campus. Being at an environmental event, many people would not say no to helping an environmentally friendly cause. If they were still hesitant, we ensured them they only needed to sign their name and then they would get a KitKat and a sustainable lunch bag. The combination of this rhetorical strategies helped our intention, as opposed to if we had only had a petition sitting out.
Overall, the event “seized the kairotic moment” through its use of logos, ethos and pathos. The logos of the event consisted of concrete ideas that showed our impact on the environment. A large sculpture was made completely out of materials that could have been recycled, giving evidence to their claim that we needed to be more environmentally friendly. Ethos was also used as an event organized around helping the environment appears to show virtue. The event creates trust as well by being organized by environmental organizations, who appear knowledgeable on the subject, while still creating identification by being college aged students, like the audience. Surrounding the audience with booths promoting sustainability creates pathos as they are affected by the event’s environment, and people at the booths may give stories of how we are hurting the world. All these elements come together to create a successful promotion of environmental sustainability.