Acts of Green for Earth Month

Florissant Valley Service Learning student, Deni Brengard, shows onlookers how to “upcycle” cans, plastic bottles and other “trash” into bracelets and artistic treasures.

On this 2011 Earth Day, across the globe, many acts of love for the planet added up to 100 million accomplishments. As cited on the Earth Day website http://www.earthday.org/blog/billion-acts-green/2011/04/22/41st-earth-day-exceeds-100-million-acts:  “From sixth-grade Iraqi mine survivors planting trees without hands and Detroit school kids building a plastic bottle boat to Malays cleaning up their waterfalls, individuals and organizations from Delhi, Louisiana to New Delhi have racked up over 100 million Acts of Green in honor of the 41st Earth Day.”

Here in St. Louis, police departments collected old medications for proper disposal, St. Louis Earth Day put on its 22nd annual celebration in Forest Park at the Muny for an estimated 30-35,000 people, and municipalities held green fairs to raise awareness.  St. Louis Community College also pitched in on these 100 million acts of green.  Flo Valley held its 6th annual Green Fair on April 6th hosting 20 plus vendors including local farmers markets. Wildwood held its 3rd annual juried Eco-Arts Festival honoring area high school artists featuring nature themes and materials on April 14th. And Meramec held their Earth Day Celebration on April 20th serving vegan food to compliment the Food Revolution table along with service learning students and other student club participation.  Forest Park campus hosted the Earth Day Extravaganza in collaboration with 14 recycling vendors and St. Louis Earth Day.  Vendors included Midwest Recycling Center for electronics; Shapiro Metals for tires and anything with a cord; Habitat for Humanity‘s ReStore for construction materials; St Vincent’s DePaul for clothing, books and shoes; and many others collecting hard to recycle materials like packing foam, CFL bulbs, and mattresses.  For full vendors and how to contact them, go to: http://www.stlouisearthday.org/events/earth-day-festival/getting-to-the-festival/recycling-extravaganza/  Participants voiced repeatedly their appreciation for a “one stop” place to get much troublesome items out of their house and not into the landfill.  We hope this collaboration will be the first of many.

What acts of green did I accomplish personally? I worked on Sunday the 17th at the Extravaganza with the Forest Park international student volunteers. Along with my sister visiting from Hawaii, we headed to Arkansas to float the Buffalo River and hike the trails around northern Arkansas.  I planted flowers and an azalea bush around my cabin contemplating the peace I find connecting with the land.  Then, to really appreciate nature in all her power, I huddled with my dog, Liam, while a tornado touched down a mile from my place.  The roar of the winds and pounding rain made me feel tiny.  On Saturday evening, we experiencing a taste of what St. Louis felt on Earth Day (Good Friday). The Arkansas tornado made me appreciate just how large these storms are reaching across the whole midwest.  My sister was on the Big Island of Hawaii for the tsunami that came from Japan’s earthquake.  Nature’s mighty forces there washed out homes and hotels in Kona.  She and I are both respectful and awed by nature in its peaceful and violent manifestations.  We both are looking forward to quiet sunsets and growing our gardens. 

What acts of green have you done recently to add to the Billion? Let me know and we will post it up on STLCC/green.

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