Small changes can make a big difference when it comes to protecting the environment.
That's what the city of Lawrence wants people to learn during the eighth annual Earth Day Celebration on Saturday.
With a record number of exhibitors participating this year, people can learn about a range of topics such as composting, alternative energy sources, land preservation and recycling.
"It's basically to educate residents and businesses regarding the importance of responsible environmental policies," said Kathy Richardson, supervisor of waste reduction and recycling for the city, which is hosting the event.
On average, 30 exhibitors participate in the celebration at South Park, near 11th and Massachusetts streets. This year there will be 55, including Blue Sky Wind, Solar and Home; Cans for the Community; and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
"This year, it's just going to be bigger and there will be more information to absorb," Richardson said.
An additional eight exhibits will be focused on water issues as part of the sixth annual April Showers to Water Towers Douglas County Water Festival.
"Water quality, next to global warming, is one of the biggest topics with our environment," said Patty Ogle, stormwater quality technician for the city's stormwater division. "Are we going to have enough water - enough clean water - in the future? Water affects everyone."
The celebration won't be all educational.
The event will be kicked off by a parade beginning at 11 a.m. The parade, sponsored by the Kansas University student organization Environs, will begin at Seventh and Massachusetts streets. It will travel south on Massachusetts Street, ending at South Park.
In the park will be food, children's activities and music from bands Big Stack Daddy and Uncle Dirty Toes.
From 10 a.m. to noon, the Lazer 105.9 will have a giveaway for Jack Johnson tickets. Johnson will be performing at Sandstone Amphitheater in August.
Richardson said Johnson's record label, Brushfire Records, is promoting environmentally friendly practices and wants to give tickets to people who are "actually reducing, reusing and recycling."
Next week, the community will have the opportunity to recycle electronics during a recycling event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 26 in the parking lot at Kansas University's Lied Center, 1600 Stewart Drive.
Computer monitors, printers, TVs, handheld devices and other electronics will be accepted.
There is a $5 recycling fee for each computer monitor, $10 per TV and there is an optional $5 charge for on-site hard drive destruction.
Earth Day events
Earth Day is observed April 22, but there will be several events throughout the month to celebrate.
Eighth annual Earth Day Celebration
¢ 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Free rides on the "T," compliments of Lawrence Transit System.
¢ 11 a.m. The Parade for the Earth begins. The parade will travel south on Massachusetts Street from Seventh Street to South Park near 11th and Massachusetts streets.
¢ 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tree identification tours in South Park by Lawrence Parks and Recreation forestry staff.
¢ 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. City of Lawrence Celebration in South Park and the April Showers to Water Towers Water Festival.
¢ 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Children's butterfly garden and rose garden tour in South Park by Lawrence Parks and Recreation horticulture staff.
LADA Earth Day Fashion Show
7 p.m. Saturday, Lied Center, 1600 Stewart Drive
¢ Lada Salon and Spa will put on its fourth annual Earth Day Fashion Show to raise money for the Clean Water Fund. Tickets are $10, available in advance at the Lied Center box office and Lada Salon and Spa, 4931 W. Sixth St., Suite 116. Tickets may also be purchased at the door the night of the event.
Community Electronic Recycling Event
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 26, Lied Center parking lot, 1600 Stewart Drive
¢ Items accepted for recycling include computer monitors, desktops, laptops, keyboards, TVs, cell phones, printers, DVD drives, etc. There is a $5 fee per computer monitor and a $10 fee per TV. For $5, on-site hard drive destruction can be conducted.
For more information, visit www.lawrencerecycles.org or call 832-3030.