Time to get down to the Earth Day celebrations | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Time to get down to the Earth Day celebrations

L.J. Bottjer
Like traveling medicine shows of old, Dr. Solar out of a brightly colored wagon powered by solar energy. With animals and puppets and feats of mentalism he will deliver a healthy dose of Vitamin D magic. The Tahoe-Truckee Earth Day is from 11-a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, April 23 at Squaw Valley USA.

Living, visiting or working in Lake Tahoe’s splendor makes the observance of Earth Day almost an obvious activity.

For more than a decade of Earth Day’s 41-year history the Tahoe-Truckee Earth Day Foundation has combined spring’s renewal with recycling and repurposing education and added a massive amount of merriment to create the region’s largest eco-event. More than 6,000 attended the 2010 event geared for the entire family.

“It pulls together the community on how to tune in with our town as we celebrate that we live in this incredible place,” said the event’s chairwoman, Emily Williams.

The protection of Mother Earth is first shown on the silver screen with the selections from the South Yuba River Citizens League Wild & Scenic Film Festival. Starting at 7 p.m. and held at the Resort at Squaw Creek, 90 minutes of six short films have a definite purpose according to Jill Falman of the University of California, Davis’ Tahoe Environmental Research Center.

“They inspire people to put more thought into their everyday life and bring a sense of hope of how others live their lives,” she said.

Among the motivating stories, for all ages, is the dedicated effort of a man named Begzsuren to improve the existence of his family and community in “Mongolian Couch.”

The free outdoor festivities start at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 23 at Village at Squaw Valley USA. Learning how to live without imparting huge ecological footprints is a main thrust.

Lessons however, are never boring when Dr. Solar takes to the stage and shines. Like traveling medicine shows of old, his act is based out of a brightly colored wagon powered by solar energy. With animals and puppets and feats of mentalism he will deliver a healthy dose of Vitamin D magic.

Enchantment and creativity often sewn together with folly will strut down the runway as the Truckee High School Environmentalism Club holds the popular “Trashion” show. Outfits made for materials not easily biodegradable and accompanied by educational and amusing commentaries highlight the students’ mission that positive actions to reducing, reusing, and recycling need to begin now.

This year, for the first time, televisions, computers, cell phones beyond the repair or usability along with dead household batteries and bald tires will find a final home at the Tahoe Truckee Earth Day. A complete list of accepted items is found on the event’s website.

Providing the rhythm of the repurposing and recycling comes from three bands. Kicking off the day is the jazz and funk of local band Downbeat followed by the acoustic and bluegrass stylings of San Francisco based Jugtown Pirates. Another Bay Area band, Vinyl, ends the day of learning not to leave junk with music based in Latin percussions, reggae and funk.

The only thing missing from the event will be typical trash cans. In an effort to minimize waste, food vendors throughout the Village will supply biodegradable containers and starch-based utensils.

To receive relief for wallets abused by gas purchases and reduce carbon footprints catch Tahoe Area Rapid Transit’s free shuttles from points along North Shore including Incline Village and Truckee.

“Everyone will walk away with more than an education,” Williams said. “They will have great fun.”

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