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Earth Day is great way to save the Earth and play
Keep Liberty Beautiful
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Sara Swida is director of Keep Liberty Beautiful.

Mark your calendars for our 12th annual Earth Day Celebration on Friday, April 20. April is Earth Month and April 22 is the International Earth Day.

I think of Earth Day as a big reminder that we should not take our world — our home here — for granted. It is, as they say, the only planet we have at this time, so we need to keep it livable. We need to take care of it so it thrives. If our environment thrives, then so will we.

The whole month of April is a great time to renew your interest (if needed) in looking for ways to take care of The Earth. That does not mean waiting for politicians to solve problems (good luck on that) or for scientists to come up with some research data that will help the Earth. I mean you — personally — what can you do?

If you are having trouble coming up with an answer, make a date with me and about a thousand other local citizens at our Earth Day Celebration. Everyone who attends — young and older — has the chance to learn easy ways to change our world with our everyday choices. Little lifestyle changes each day at home and at work or school can make big long-term changes in our environment so we have a clean and healthy world, non-polluted waterways and groundwater, fewer landfills and cleaner air.

One thing that really makes me weary in our society today is the blame game. It is so easy to blame everyone around us for problems. It’s the Republicans! No, it is the Democrats! It is big business! No, it is the petroleum syndicate! No, it has got to be the Chinese!

I hate to break it to you, but the biggest problem for our waterways and environment is you and me. The specific term for these issues we create is called non-point source pollution. That means that the choices we make every day — like whether we litter or whether we secure our trash in our vehicles or let it just fly and whether we let our car leak oil all over the road or get the vehicle serviced regularly — overtime take a drastic toll on our environment. Multiply our individual actions by a few other billion people and you can see what a problem we pesky humans are for our Earth. Our love of convenience and instant gratification is quite costly for our planet.

If you are feeling a little guilty right now — and you should, we all should — then our Earth Day Celebration is for you. It is all about environmental education disguised as fun. Here is a secret: kids and adults all learn more and retain more when we enjoy the learning process.

Our goal is to make education about Earth-keeping a whole lot of fun, because our ultimate "evil" plan is to get everyone involved in taking care of our environment. We want to inspire a whole generation of Earth-keepers and I encourage all of us older folks to tag along, too. The eclectic mix of exhibits and displays, games and crafts, and music and entertainment at this event focus on ways we can make a difference for our planet. It is the little, everyday things that can make an incredible difference, especially when we actually do them.

An array of celebration activities promote ideas and how-to’s about water conservation, stormwater pollution and nonpoint source pollution, recycling and waste reduction, growing beautiful plants as well as food, and how litter is crippling our world and, particularly, our waterways.

Although this event is aimed for the young, it can be meaningful for anyone who enjoys living on the Earth. Through a variety of games, crafts and other activities, we try to bring understanding of what we can all do to be good stewards. From old favorites, like Journey through a Storm Drain, to new activities, like a Shaving Cream World and Butterfly Snacks, these activities are fun and make a point.

If you really want to be involved, then don’t just wait for the 20th, we rely on community partners — organizations, school and church groups and businesses — to host the activities. We have 55 booths confirmed so far, but would like to have seven to 10 more. So contact us if you would like to create some fun with us.

We need several hundred volunteers to implement this event, which is our event each year. If you care about the environment and you also like to have fun — even when it requires work — then you are the volunteer we are looking for.

The fun will be from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the YMCA Fields on Mary Lou Drive. It is free. But the best part, truly, is that it is information that we can all use. Our planet could use a little help from all of us. I would like for the Earth to last for a few more thousand years, wouldn’t you?

To learn more or to volunteer, contact Keep Liberty Beautiful at 9120880-4888 or

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