Celebrating Earth Day This Week
Every April, in cities and towns around the country, community businesses and groups celebrate Earth Day. And for over 40 years, communities around the world have been celebrating Earth Day in various ways. Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson started the Earth Day movement after witnessing the damages from a devastating oil spill in California in 1969. Nelson saw the public awareness surrounding air and water pollution throughout the country increase and knew the time was right to begin a nationwide movement. On April 22, 1970, after a tremendous amount of planning and coordination, a reported 20 million activists took to the streets in communities all over the country to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment. As a result of the Earth Day activities in 1970, the United States Environmental Protection Agency was created and we saw the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.
This week, the Las Cruces Green Chamber is honored to be part of several activities that highlight protecting our vital resources and being kind to our planet. These events are a terrific collaboration between Doña Ana County, the City of Las Cruces, the Sustainability office at New Mexico State University, NMSU Oasis, and a number of other groups and agencies.
Through the efforts of Keep Doña Ana County Beautiful, the inaugural Las Cruces Chats will begin on Tuesday, April 18th and run through the 20th at the county offices on Motel Blvd. Tuesday’s chats feature Dr. joni newcomer from NMSU talking about “Easy Tips for Being Green” in Las Cruces. Tuesday’s talks also include Tarkeysha Burton from the South Central Solid Waste Authority explaining “Aspirational Recycling,” and Marianne McLaughlin, from Natural Grocers, will be discussing how your food choices can save the planet.
On Wednesday, New Mexico Climatologist David Dubois will talk about Climate Change, and representatives from SunPower by Positive Energy will talk about Solar Energy. The Las Cruces Chats will conclude on Thursday evening with myself talking about our Think Local First efforts and will conclude with Clair Campos and Spenser Lopez, from Mountain View Market Co-Op, discussing Food Waste. All Las Cruces Chats begin at 6pm are free and open to the public and take place at the County Government building, 845 N. Motel Blvd.
Friday’s events feature the Earth Day Festival at the Dona Ana County Government Building. The day begins with a tree planting at 8am and the festival, featuring various vendors, runs from 9am to 2pm.
On Saturday, April 22nd, the Las Cruces Green Chamber, in partnership with Keep Las Cruces Beautiful, will be hosting the Reuse and Recycle Fashion show at the plaza on Main Street. The show, featuring wearable items made from recycled materials, will start at noon. The celebration will feature food vendors, dancing and drumming, and much more. It is also free and open to public and runs from 8:30 to 3pm. Attendees will see a number of locally owned businesses that are doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint, conserve energy and protect the planet. Drop by and say hello to all of the member businesses that will be at the park. Also, the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce will be there to answer any questions.
Recycling and reusing materials in business and our personal lives isn’t a difficult task. It takes a little bit of thought, a slight change in routines, and a commitment to decreasing your waste. All of us can live the values of Earth day…every day.
Carrie Hamblen is the CEO/President of the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 575-323-1575.