Middleton Earth Day 2019

Litter takes a really long time to decompose- plastic takes 450 years, and metal takes 200 years!

On Sunday, April 28th, I participated in my town’s Earth Day celebration! Children, adults, and families all came together to celebrate the beauty of the Earth and to learn more about what they can do to preserve that beauty for future generations and for animals, plants, and insects within it. I loved talking with both townsfolk who have lived in Middleton since the 1970’s and people who had just recently moved in, as hearing their perspectives on the environment of our town and what can be done to improve it was quite interesting! While walking around the booths, I saw the Boy Scouts making stew and desserts, the Ipswich River Watershed Association sharing information about water and pollution. There were samples of healthy food, bug traps, and amphibious creatures galore!

Games and More!

I ran two booths; one booth was about litter awareness and the other was about the World Wildlife Foundation and the endangered species that it protects.

At my litter booth, I had two games. The first was a touchy-feely game focused on decomposition. People reached their hands inside of this box and pulled litter items such as single-use plastic water bottles and metal soda cans, then guessed how long it would take for those items to decompose. Did you know that a single plastic water bottle will take at least 450 years to decompose? A lot of people were surprised too!

The other game was based on the recycling system of our town, plus compost. 6 bins were set up: compost, landfill, and metal, plastic, glass, and paper recycling. People practiced “recycling” items into the bins, and many learned more about both the intricacies and bases of recycling. The fact that most surprised people was that many paper cartons, such as those for milk and juice, have a coating of wax on the inside and cannot be recycled! Not only was this a fun activity, but at Earth Day there were bins similar to mine in which to deposit paper, metal, and compost. The Middleton transfer system also had a similar system to mine, minus compost, with glass, metal, plastic, and paper recycling and large bins to deposit non-recyclable trash items.

The purpose of my games was to create excitement and generate conversations about both litter and recycling, and I would say that it was definitely a success! Not only children, but parents as well learned a lot about the litter situation in our town and the severity of the pollution of our water and roadways, and what they could do to help.

At my WWF booth, there was a true-false game set up with all different kinds of animal facts and not-so-factual facts. Using the Magic Pen, people were able to guess whether statements such as “red pandas eat bullfrogs” were true or false (that one is false!) and see immediately if their answers were right or wrong. Along with this was a host of different stuffed animals and a donation basket for the WWF to support the organization.

Earth Day was a wonderful experience for both me and everyone else at the event! I learned about all kinds of environment-related issues such as an overuse of the water of the Ipswich River causing drought, and many solutions to issues as well!