There are some lingering misconceptions surrounding Earth Day Cincinnati, which takes place Saturday, April 18 from noon to 5 p.m.
“It’s not just a bunch of hippies running around, though there are some,” said Lauren Beatty, public relations chair for the Greater Cincinnati Earth Coalition. “We get mostly families who come out for a great day of outward enjoyment and learning. We have real food. It’s not all twigs and berries.”
Earth Day Cincinnati does open with a performance by the Miami Valley Council for Native Americans Drum Circle.
“(Native Americans) were the original ‘go green,’ ” Beatty said. “They have always worshipped and celebrated the earth as the life giver to all. (The drum circle) celebrates the dirt below our feet that nourishes the crops we grow. It gives thanks to the sun, which gives us heat and light every day.”
The event evenly combines entertainment and education. As the live music plays, and kids engage in recycling games, scavenger hunts, or giant versions of Jenga and Connect Four, adults can watch representatives of various businesses and government institutions take home various environmental awards. The winners this year include Cincinnati Public Schools for, among other things, rebuilding several buildings to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards, which reduces indoor toxins and makes better use of natural light, and Newcomer Funeral Himes, a funeral home that places unembalmed bodies in biodegradable caskets or urns.
“We’re not setting standards or anything,” Beatty said. “We’re just recognizing organizations who take the initiative to go green.”
There will also be lectures on the benefits of bike sharing, streetcars and hemp products. Adults can indulge in the free yoga classes, while kids check out the live animals, which will include hawks, owls and hissing cockroaches, the climbing wall, or participate in the recycling costume contest. The criteria for winning is creativity, quality of construction, the variety of recycled items used, and a poster indicating those items.
“We’ve had dragons, robots, and even a real fashion show with cute dresses made from Capri Sun drinks,” Beatty said.
Even as the entertainment draws people in, Beatty said they want to encourage families to go home with a more eco-friendly lifestyle that’s easy to implement.
“We try to educate them on what’s new in the green community,” she said. “We show them easy ways they can go green and save money, and how the children and adults can take care of the earth to ensure our grandchildren and their grandchildren will inherit an earth that is nourished, clean, healthy and well-balanced. Unfortunately, we have a lot of work ahead of us in healing the earth to make it better prepared for the future.”
HOW TO GO
What: Earth Day Cincinnati
When: April 18, noon-5 p.m.
Where: Sawyer Point, 705 E. Pete Rose Way, Cincinnati
More Info: www.cincinnatiearthday.com