For more than five decades, April 22 has served as both a day of celebration of planet Earth and a call to action to protect its natural resources and delicate ecosystems.
This movement is responsible for making millions around the globe more mindful of pollution and deforestation.
A series of local events and activities, including an upcycle art competition, are planned this month that encourage area residents to join the cause.
The town of Halifax will hold a paper shredding event on Thursday, April 21 from 4 p.m to 7 p.m. at the Halifax Marketplace parking lot, located at 209 S. Main Street.
If anyone is looking for a safe way to get rid of confidential information just follow the directional signage for drive-thru service.
Those unwanted papers will be shredded on-site, free of charge for Halifax County residents.
There also will be plastic bag recycling receptacles on site, so bring all those extra plastic bags too.
Community shredding events such as these help securely and safely destroy sensitive documents that would otherwise end up in landfills.
The Saturday after Earth Day, April 23, is Halifax County Community Clean Up Day, and for more info go to www.halifaxchamber.net/CommunityCleanUp.
Then, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 23, the town of Halifax will hold its 14th Annual Earth Day Extravaganza at the Halifax Marketplace.
The first 100 attendees will receive an Earth Day drawstring bag and there will be garden plants and seed giveaways, while supplies last.
This year’s event will feature local farmers, artisans, food vendors D & D Skins and Viny’s Italian Restaurant, children’s activities and more.
The Master Gardeners and Halifax County Beekeepers Association will be on hand to share information and answer questions from curious minds of all ages.
Attendees can also observe a basket weaving demonstration by Zelliph.
Children’s activities include:
• Digging in the Dirt - Plant your own flower sensory station - Sponsored by Abbott Farm Suppliers;
• Children’s craft with Ms. Sue Brooks from the Halifax County Libraries;
• Flower printing, recycled plastic flower art, rock painting - Sponsored by the Halifax Market Place; and
• Take-home Earth Day coloring activities.
Upon arrival, attendees are encouraged to stop by the front of the Market Place building to pick up a ticket to register for door prizes.
There will be drawings throughout the day for gift cards from Sheetz, Peddlers Market, The Packhouse, Applebee’s, Schewels Furniture Store, The Cozy Cottage, Viny’s Italian Restaurant and Frutopia.
Additional prizes include: Prizery summer theater tickets, a wheelbarrow and pruning shears from True-Value, three bags of miracle grow and a set of children’s garden tools from Tractor Supply, mulch from Jerry Epps Landscaping, Chamber Checks from Yancey Wholesale Supply and a wooden picnic table and bookshelf donated by community members.
Earth Day art competition
New this year, the “Think Outside the Trash” art contest challenges participants to create works of art utilizing discarded plastic materials.
Event coordinator Susie Robbins says the inspiration for the contest was born out of a desire to bring awareness to the amount of plastic waste individuals and communities create while transforming it into something beautiful.
“Those plastic water and soda bottles, the small containers of baby food in pouches, the jugs of laundry detergent – these are things we use every day, and it all adds up,” said Robbins.
An artist and former preschool art teacher, Robbins says, “Did you know it can take more than 450 years for a plastic bottle to break down? Instead of sending plastic items to the landfill, we want area residents to think about whether these materials can be recycled or repurposed.
“From the air we breathe to the water we drink, it’s all interconnected. The choices we make today will have a direct impact on future generations,” said Robbins. “Small, meaningful steps, like reducing the amount of waste we create, can have a powerful, cumulative effect. I’m hoping the simple act of collecting these items as source materials for this year’s art contest will help individuals, families and businesses become more aware of just how much plastic waste is created daily,” she added.
Upcycled artwork created during this initiative will be publicly displayed during the local Earth Day celebration.
Entries must be made from at least 70% discarded plastic materials like drink bottles, tops and laundry detergent jugs, and be centered around a nature theme such as plants, animals, fish, insects, rivers and/or oceans.
Pieces can be 3D or mural style.
Additional information and contest registration form can be found at www.townofhalifax.com/earthday.
Artwork will be judged based on adherence to theme and materials, originality, craftsmanship and use of colors and textures.
Winners will be announced on Saturday, April 23 at 1 p.m. during the Earth Day Extravaganza.
Monetary prizes will be awarded to first, second and third place winners in each participant category.
Stop by the Marketplace on Saturdays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. leading up to the event to pick up materials to incorporate into your masterpiece or access contest entry forms. Participants need not be present to win.
The South Boston and Halifax Library also will feature additional Earth Day themed activities for children throughout the day on Saturday, April 23.
Visit the town of Halifax website and Earth Day Extravaganza Facebook page for the latest event updates. This year’s event is made possible in part by the contributions of community sponsors.
Finally, if anyone wants to do more, mark calendars and save the date of Saturday, June 18 to join the Banister River Clean Up scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. at the Kings Bridge Landing located at 1092 Bethel Road in Halifax. In case of inclement weather a rain date of Saturday, July 16 has been set.