Report by Paula Antolini
April 21, 2018 7:17PM EDT
By Paula Antolini
Bethel Celebrates Earth Day: Every Day is Earth Day. Plant the Seeds, Inspire Children.
Encourage children to love the earth and all will bloom naturally. Here are some family activities you can do to foster environmentalism in your town.
Today from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. people in Bethel celebrated Earth Day during an event on the CJH Municipal lawn and around town, with many businesses participating (view photos below).
There were numerous vendors selling all sorts of products and food. There were plenty of activities and attendees could participate in a “passport” raffle and win prizes generously donated by local merchants. Some local businesses also had events going on in their stores.
The weather was sunny and in the 50-60’s but a bit windy. Musicians had a hard time keeping their sheet music on their music stands, as they performed in the gazebo, but event volunteers came to the rescue and held the sheet music in place.
The Guiding Eyes for the Blind, dogs and trainers, were visiting and were at the Toy Room and out and about town too. Three dogs were here in Bethel, one puppy in training, and two older dogs. It is amazing to watch the process of how they become trusted guides.
Why not celebrate Earth Day every day? What can we do to show our love of the earth every day?
Photo: CJH Municipal Center lawn on Bethel Earth Day 2018.
Love begins in the home and so does the love for our earth. If you teach your children to respect the earth on every level, they will continue to realize the global impact of environmentalism when they become adults. This is important for the sustainability of life as we know it.
Perhaps we can set off that spark in a child, making them want to learn more about the process and do more to help. If we’ve done our part, they might strive to become an environmentalist—professionally or at heart. Inspire children, plant the seeds early on, and they will flourish.
Photo: First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker with Bethel Earth Day volunteers.
We all strive to do “acts of kindness” for our neighbors, to cement better relations locally or worldwide—but perhaps we also need to do “acts of environmental kindness” too, to save our planet.
On Earth Day, we celebrate what the earth gives us — the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, the trees we use for timber, paper, furniture, and to build our homes. We think about the plants and animals with whom we share the earth.
Where do we begin in this teaching process (which we know is a learning process for adults, too) of how to preserve all that we love?
Begin with little things. Easy things. Obvious things. Things we take for granted each day, and use and/or abuse because of our lack of knowledge. Let’s start there. Remember that children learn from what we do.
Photo: Little girl views livestock on CJH Municipal Center lawn on Bethel Earth Day 2018.
There are some wonderful family activities you can do together while learning about the environment. Make a “to do” list and make it fun! Do as many hands-on projects as you can each day to help save the earth in little ways. Have the children keep a chart or journal about everything they do. Here are some suggestions:
Indoors: Read books, magazines, websites and newspapers and learn more about the earth. Conserve energy and save water by letting children find (and a parent fix) dripping faucets; only running the dishwasher when full; taking short showers; turning the water off while brushing your teeth; turning off electrical items when not in use; doing full loads of laundry only. Recycle cans, bottles and newspapers.
Outdoors: Plant a tree. Plant a garden. Clean up roadside litter. Create a habitat by putting up a birdhouse. Build a compost for food scraps, leaves and lawn clippings. Save rainwater and reuse for outdoor gardens.
At School: Urge teachers and administrators to do activities for Earth Day and every day. Suggest ideas for projects: write poetry; create environmentally-themed music; have an environmental poster contest. Check to see which sources of electricity you can conserve in your school (electric pencil sharpener, lights on in rooms not used, etc.) and keep a chart about how many ways you saved energy.
At Work: Make a company Earth Day resolutions list. Conserve paper and electricity. Close shades in the summer to prevent high heat in offices. Don’t use air conditioning all the time. Recycle cans, bottles and newspapers at the office.
While Traveling: Visit parks and nature centers. Visit a maritime museum. While on a drive, have children count how many things might be polluting the air, land or water, and then research if anything is being done to correct the problem.
For Pets: Attend a dog-friendly Earth Day event. Organize a dog park cleanup. Take a hike on a dog-friendly trail. Use natural flea control. Buy organic pet food. Avoid plastic and synthetic toys and dog beds, and use natural fiber products. Scoop up the poop, compost it, or use biodegradable poop bags if you live in the city. Adopt a pet from a shelter. Spay or neuter your pet.
Join a Group: Join organizations that help save endangered animals. Adopt an endangered species online. Join any group that supports Earth Day issues.
Community Service: Volunteer your time in any way that will improve the environment. Does your community have a nature center? Maybe you can volunteer there.
Photo above and next two photos below: Dogs and trainers from Guiding Eyes for the Blind were around town today during Bethel Earth Day, shown here at the Toy Room with store owner Kimberley Ramsey.
Photos above and below: Raffle prizes generously donated by local businessesfor Bethel Earth Day 2018.
Photo: Bethel High School Tri-M Music Honor Society members Gia Antolini (left, on violin)) and Cosette Domkofski (2nd from left, violin) and other orchestra members (left to right) Tim Daly (violin), Mark Yuschak (violin), and Sean Daly (viola) performed several classical music pieces in the CJH Municipal Center gazebo on Bethel Earth Day 2018.
Photo: One of the many products sold at the Bethel Earth Day event, home made “Wanke’s Yankee Hot Pepper Products” from of Norwalk, CT, included three different hot ratings for pork, poultry and beef along with a variety of hot sauces.
Photo: Local Bethel business “Noteworthy Chocolates” offered hand-made custom-engraved chocolates.