Each year since April 1970, more and more people choose to celebrate Earth Day. Whether they want to celebrate the planet or learn ways to be more environmentally conscious, the holiday continues to grow in momentum.
The Knox County community has come together for the past decade to celebrate at its own Earth Day event, EarthFest. Started in 2000 by a small group of non-profits and community leaders, EarthFest has grown from a few hundred participants at The Cove at Concord Park to East Tennessee’s premier Earth Day event with thousands of attendees.
EarthFest 2013 will be held on Saturday, April 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Pellissippi State Community College’s Hardin Valley campus. As always, EarthFest is a free, zero-waste event with educational exhibits, kids’ activities, food and entertainment for the whole family, including pets.
During a zero-waste event, exhibitors and food vendors control the types of materials they sell or distribute in order to minimize waste. Food is served on reusable Frisbees, water stations are available to refill bottles and there are no trash cans onsite. EarthFest organizers provide recycling and composting opportunities for everything distributed at the event. For the past three years, the total trash collected during the day-long event averaged less than 10 pounds.
Every year EarthFest chooses a theme, and this year’s is Rooted in Sustainability. The idea is to showcase green technologies used today that are based on older practices. Festival attendees will have an opportunity to appreciate the past by recognizing the evolution of technologies used today. Rooted in Sustainability demonstrations will include blacksmithing, weaving, worm composting, green parenting and food preservation.
Along with over 100 exhibitors and attractions, attendees can take part in an EarthFest educational scavenger hunt. Participants will get their scavenger hunt player’s card stamped as they answer questions at select vendor booths around the festival. Once completed, participants will be entered to win a grand prize and other giveaways going on every hour.
Other onsite events at EarthFest will include: a plastic bag exchange, disc golf course, Medic blood drive, fuel-efficient car showcase, mercury thermometer exchange and youth learning area. In the youth area there will be lots of free, interactive activities for kids to learn about going green. These will include making totes out of re-purposed t-shirts, creating planters out of newspaper, decorating pet rocks and crafting clothespin magnets.
For more information on EarthFest 2013, including a detailed list of sponsors, onsite events, complete list of theme demonstrations and scavenger hunt prizes, visit www.knox-earthfest.org.