Archive for Sunday, April 19, 2009

Earth Day events draw conservation-minded

Nelda Leibig, left, heads towards South Park along side her daughter, Beth Merryfield, right, during the 2009 Earth Day Celebration parade on Massachusetts Street. Leibig and Merryfield dressed up as Mother and Daughter Earth to participate in the parade and Earth Day celebrations Saturday.

Nelda Leibig, left, heads towards South Park along side her daughter, Beth Merryfield, right, during the 2009 Earth Day Celebration parade on Massachusetts Street. Leibig and Merryfield dressed up as Mother and Daughter Earth to participate in the parade and Earth Day celebrations Saturday.

April 19, 2009

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Having just joined the recycling committee at work, Beth Merryfield decided this was the year to march in Lawrence’s annual Earth Day Celebration.

She brought along her mother and longtime recycler, Nelda Liebig. The duo — dressed in bright floral printed dresses, donning summer hats plastered with flowers and carrying a globe — represented Mother (and daughter) Earth.

Their entire costumes were made from reused items, said Merryfield, a self-proclaimed Dumpster diver.

The two were part of the hundred or so people who paraded down Massachusetts Street on Saturday morning. Some traveled in pedicabs, unicycles and biofuel trucks. Others used hula hoops. And a pair rode in a two-seat bicycle, a sailor in front and a mermaid in the back.

For the White family, the Earth Day parade is an annual festivity. Nine years ago, mom Stacey White helped organize the first event, inspired by the parade of species in Missoula, Mont.

No longer an organizer, White has created a family tradition of wearing animal hats in the parade. In past years they were crabs, frogs, monkeys and penguins. This year her “very patient husband” Scott, 8-year-old son Thomas and 6-year-old son Isaac were bats.

“Usually we are worried about environmental problems and how to make them better. But today we celebrate,” White said.

About 30 groups were in Saturday’s parade, which is organized by KU Environs. The parade was an opportunity to bring the university and community together, said KU sophomore Lauren Ashman, who was dressed like a wind turbine, wearing all white and a head piece of cardboard blades.

“I think we need to grow the connection between the two,” Ashman said. “Especially in terms of the environment, I think we can work together to make a really positive change.”

After the parade, participates fanned out over South Park, where more than 50 vendors had set up shop.

The Earth Day Celebration, which was hosted by the City of Lawrence’s Waste Reduction and Recycling Division, went on all afternoon and had free vegan food, alternative-fuel vehicles, tree identification walks, a water conservation education station and booths about recycling.

Comments

dandelion 6 years ago

Even though the sun wasn't shining, it was a great day in the park. I learned many things to help me save money, and not overuse the earth's resources. Thanks to all who were there.

Shardwurm 6 years ago

I hate to break the news but the only thing that's going to save the earth is human birth control. At the rate we're reproducing all the conservation efforts we can think of won't do much to meet the demand - even as soon as 100 years from now.

dandelion 6 years ago

I and several of my friends took the bus. I agree about the birth control. Nature has a way of taking care of species that are overpopulated.

terrapin2 6 years ago

You're right pilgrim2, some people did drive to the event, but some also took the bus that normally wouldn't, some rode their bikes etc.. No one is saying that everyone has to be perfect. We try to do what we can for the environment, but we are certainly not perfect. It is about raising awareness of our direct impact on the world around us and making as many changes as we can. No one is saying you have to make every change. Are you saying that if someone drove to the event that they are just hypocrites and don't really care? Now you can't have a vehicle and still be an environmentalist? Are the changes that we do make any less of a help to the environment because we can't do it all? I guess we should just give up then huh?

TacoBob 6 years ago

Watched 'The Day the Earth Stood Still' last night.

Learned that humans will only change when they are on the brink of destruction.

Fortunately Keanu changed his mind and spared the earth to give the human race another chance.

Perhaps the EPA will change its collective mind and spare us by letting us keep our technology and some semblance of a competitive economy.

BigPrune 6 years ago

Looks like quite the freak show in Lawrence, KS. So, what else is new? How many defenseless trees had to die for all the paper signs? How many barrels of oil had to be pumped to create the paint for the paintings and signs? How many defenseless plants had to be slaughtered in order to create these peoples' clothing? How many carbon excreters walked our asphalt street anyway?

Fugu 6 years ago

BigPrune,

I would much rather be around those so called "freaks" than listen to your hateful bigotry.

As for your baseless rhetorical questions, you would have gotten some clue, had you even taken the time to read 3-4 sentences in the article.

Mary Darst 6 years ago

I remember in the late 60's, the ZERO population movement. We all should have paid closer attention.. Whoever up there who said poeple wait till the next to the last dog dies..That is sooo right. It seems people think everything will 'just be alright'. That sure isn't the right idea.

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