YELLOW SPRINGS — Each day can be treated as if it is Earth Day as long as individuals make decisions with the planet in mind, according to Glen Helen Executive Director Nick Boutis.
“We’re all part of the Earth and if we do right by the planet, the planet will return the favor,” said Boutis.
Earth Day started as a worldwide recognition of the planet in 1970 and will be celebrated once again Saturday, April 22. However, Earth Day can go beyond a single day of celebrating the planet that supports each known living thing. Boutis suggests setting “Earth Day resolutions.”
“If it’s just me acting on my own, I don’t necessarily see that much of a change, but if it’s a whole classroom or family of people, then we’re able to appreciate the cumulative effect of our individual actions,” Boutis said.
Resolutions can include tapping into actions such as committing to walking one mile each day, aiming to waste less food, putting a quarter into a jar when entering an empty room with a light on, aiming to lower the air conditioning bill each month and placing less bags of trash on the curb while having more bags of recycling to contribute. Boutis said he personally aims to involve his family in Earth-saving efforts by focusing on saving money on energy bills.
He said the amount they save each month on those bills, comparing year-to-year, will go toward something rewarding they can do as a family. He also suggests spending time outdoors to reconnect with the Earth and realize why taking care of it is important. Boutis highlighted that aiming to be energy conscience will also have a positive impact on wallets and time.
“Everybody has heard things like ‘turn the water off when you brush your teeth,’ ‘recycle’ and ‘turn the lights off when you leave the room,’ and it begins to go over people’s head after awhile because we’ve heard it so many times and it doesn’t seem like it accomplishes anything, but our approach is — how do we get people to see the consequences of the good deeds they do for the Earth?” Boutis said.
Glen Helen hosts a number of programs throughout the year that aim to educate individuals on doing right by the planet. While Mother Earth will be celebrated worldwide on Earth Day Saturday, April 22, Glen Helen is offering local earthly shindigs, inviting all to participate.
Earth Day bird hike
Individuals are invited to meet 8 a.m. at the Grinnell Mill to search for birds along the Little Miami River. Boutis said in the two-hour bird hike, participants could spot up to 50 birds whether native or just passing through on their way north. Glen Helen members can attend for free; all other cost $5.
Shred and recycle
Glen Helen, in partnership with the Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce, is offering individuals the opportunity to shred personal documents. Stop by the corner of Limestone and Corry Street (entering off Corry) between 10 a.m.-1 p.m. to shred documents for free.
Paper, plastic or art?
Glen Helen is offering a recycled art workshop in which participants can create are made from recycled or discarded materials. Some art materials will be provided but event organizers ask that participants bring some materials to share. It takes place 1 p.m. at the auditorium, 405 E. Corry Street; participation costs $5, while members can attend for free.
Glen Helen Annual 5k-10K walk/run
Individuals are invited to take a 5k-10k walk and/or run through the Glen. Registration begins 8 a.m. while the race starts at 10 a.m. at the Outdoor Education Center, 1075 State Route 343. Participating in the 5K costs $25, while the 10k costs $30 if registering beforehand on Glenhelen.org, or $35, cash only, if registering on race day.
Signs will be posted throughout the Village of Yellow Springs to direct parking and shuttle locations, which will run 7-9 a.m. then from noon-2 p.m. A bag check and bike corral is also available at the race site. Food will be provided to racers. Proceeds will benefit the 1000-acre nature preservation as well as Glen Helen outdoor education programs. Participants are also encouraged to dress as a nature superhero.
Reach Whitney Vickers at 937-502-4532.