Many people talk a good game about caring for the environment. We hear politicians and Hollywood types and all sorts of “activists” telling us regular folks how to take care of the earth. Sometimes it just cracks me up. One of my favorite environmentalists — and, believe me, I am being very sarcastic — flies around in private jets all the time selling books about the environment and telling people what they should be doing to take care of the environment. Oh yes, he also flits around in his private jets to visit his numerous 10,000-14,000-square-foot homes, too. And this guy wants to tell us about minimizing our carbon footprint? Sure.
I guess I am not an activist. Earth Day was born in 1970 in the midst of political upheaval and the hippie movement. I was 14 and, I have to be honest, I truly thought all that hippie stuff was about the stupidest stuff I had ever seen. I apologize to you former hippies out there, but it made no sense to me.
Even then, I was quickly bored by people who wanted to just talk about making a difference. So, what does Earth Day mean to me? Earth Day is great day to create real change. I think that is what we do at our annual Earth Day Celebration. We try to give families and friends who join us practical information and simple ideas that anyone can incorporate into their daily lives and routines.
There is no heavy-duty agenda or philosophy that we are promoting; remember — that stuff has always bored me. We just want people of all ages to figure out that their everyday choices are where real changes for our environment will occur. We can make our neighborhoods safer; we can make our roads and streets cleaner; we can make our waterways and wetlands healthier. We just have to take care of the basics.
Our 2013 Earth Day Celebration is from 3:30-6:30 p.m. Monday, April 22, at the YMCA soccer fields in Hinesville. People of all ages will find information and activities that remind us that the simplest of ideas can make the biggest difference. I forgot to mention the frogs, turtles and bugs who will be “hanging out” with us! Also there will be door prizes and giveaways. Best of all, the event is free! We do have a few concessions that will be for sale, but those stands will be run by local organizations that raise funds for good causes in Liberty County. Any money spent on that food will be money well spent — plus, the snacks will be tasty!
Here are some of the highlights for this year’s event:
• A display of creative Earth Day shirts designed by local sixth-graders in their art classes at our local middle schools.
• Several environmental displays created by local 4-Hers
• Our annual sidewalk-chalk art contest
• Visits by our special guests — the Earth Day Froggie, Yertle the Turtle, ‘”Bagman” and Louie the Lightning Bug
• Dancing for the young at heart to music by Third Class Citizens, our favorite Earth Day Rap, an Earth Day musical parade — even the tone deaf can join — and an animal boogie, where animals come out to dance
• More than 60 exhibits, crafts, photo opportunities and games to provide environmental education disguised as fun, which is the best way for all of us to learn.
• Door prizes, including a 26-inch flat-screen television, a Samsung Tablet, an iPod and an MP3 player donated by Marne Point. Vaden Nissan will give away a $100 gift card for gas. Thanks to our sponsors: Georgia Power Company, Coastal Electric Cooperative, Canoochee EMC, Liberty County Chamber of Commerce and CVB, Liberty County Solid Waste, Liberty County, Long County and also the cities of Hinesville, Flemington, Walthourville and Allenhurst. And we also appreciate the YMCA letting us use their fields.
Earth Day is really about creating a whole bunch of “doers” who will pick up litter, recycle, reduce waste and work every day to improve our community through those simple choices that they will make. We want “doers” in Liberty County — not “talkers.” Join us for Earth Day fun — and real change — this Monday!
KLB activities that need you:
• Saturday, April 27: Cities of Walthourville, Flemington and Riceboro cleanup days. To volunteer, call Keep Liberty Beautiful at 880-4888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.