CHELAN - It’s April, which means - other than the start of baseball season - that it is Earth month and a time to show a commitment to a healthy and sustainable world.
The first Earth Day was in the Spring of 1970 after U.S Senator Gaylord Nelson envisioned the idea in 1969. Nelson was inspired by recent teach-ins being held in protest of the Vietnam war and decided to do the same for the environment.
“It suddenly occurred to me,” Nelson said in a speech years later, “Why not have a nationwide teach-in on the environment? In a speech at Seattle in September, I formally announced that there would be a national environmental teach-in sometime in the spring of 1970.”
The first Earth Day was a momentous event, with over 20 million people taking part on April 22, 1970. It lead to the eventual passage of the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act.
To commemorate Earth Day Chelan is hosting the 28th annual Lake Chelan Earth Day Fair at Riverwalk Park from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Saturday, April 15.
Over the years the fair has gone through quite a change.
“It used to be more flea market booths, first come-first served,” Earth Day Fair Committee Co-chair Anne Brooks said. “We now have about 100 booths with reservations required and bringing in more educational exhibitors involving local businesses, agencies and organizations and exhibitors with over 15oo attendees. We also have over 20 local folks on our team/committee who coordinate areas of the fair.”
Overall, Brooks believed their teams efforts have helped the citizens in the valley become more conscious of their environmental impact.
Their website, chelanearthdayfair.org has information about the Fair and also features tips and on how you can save the planet, 50 ways to reuse your garbage and a video about the global plastic epidemic.
When asked about which tips the committee practices, Brooks said “most of them”. She said the committee does everything from recycling and composting to buying local, walking and owning electric and hybrid vehicles.
According to Brooks, the easiest thing someone can do to help out is “reduce, reuse, recycle and buy local.”
To help fight the plastic crisis, which is slowly consuming our Oceans as individual plastic pieces now outnumber sea life 6-to-1, Brooks said there will be signs around the Fair this year suggesting ways that we can individually reduce our plastic use.
In addition to the fair, Chelan Earth Day Fair organizer and local orchardist Scott Beaton will hold his 23rd annual Chelan Litter Cleanup from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aptil 29 with local sixth graders starting at Riverwalk Park.
Zach Johnson can be reached at email@example.com or (509) 682-2213
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