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    Friday, June 14, 2024

    Earth Day Expo in Groton to focus on sustainable living, direct action

    Groton ― The mission of an upcoming Earth Day Expo at the Groton Public Library is to educate people on how to live more sustainably.

    Beyond that, organizers also want them to take direct action that day.

    Jason Hine, the owner of The Ditty Bag, a zero-waste shop in Mystic and the lead organizer of the event with Groton conservation groups and the library, said the family-friendly event for people of all ages will feature more than 60 vendors and many interactive experiences to show people ways to make easy changes that could be really important for the planet.

    The event, being held for the second year, will take place 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, at the library at 52 Newtown Road.

    Among the vendors, Drew Burnett of Drew’s Honeybees will have a glass cube of honeybees to teach students about the importance of caring for bees and will sell honey, so people can learn about the importance of buying local honey, said Hine.

    State Rep. Aundré Bumgardner, D-Groton, a member of the General Assembly’s Environment Committee, will teach people about how to advocate for the environment and how a bill becomes a law, Hine said. People can write testimony in support of environmental bills.

    In light of the decline of the bird population in the United States, children will learn about helping birds and have an opportunity to make a bird feeder, Hine said.

    SoulFully Vegan will have a food truck and teach people about vegan food, and David Standridge, executive chef at Shipwright’s Daughter, will show people how to eat sustainably, Hine said.

    The event’s theme is Planet vs. Plastics, which is the central theme for Earth Day this year, Hine said. There will be opportunities for people to learn about composting, reducing plastic waste and recycling, and a puppet show for young children.

    Being heard

    Another important part of the event is for people to be heard on issues of climate change, Hine said.

    WSHU Public Radio will be on hand to record people, in soundproof booths, who would like the opportunity to talk about their climate change worries.

    Students from the University of Connecticut, Connecticut College, University of Connecticut at Avery Point, Marine Science Magnet School, Ella T. Grasso Technical High School, Robert E. Fitch High School, and Stonington High School, as well as some middle school students will participate in panels that will be recorded.

    The panels will focus on climate change and potential solutions, climate change’s impact on food and how to support local growers, and resources to teach about climate change.

    The panels, focused on student voices, will be facilitated by state Reps. Bumgardner and Christine Conley, D-Groton; Jim Clifford, creator of the Connecticut Climate Hub; state Rep. Christine Palm, D-Chester, co-chairwoman of the Environment Committee; Mike Urgo, Connecticut League of Conservation Voters president; and Rosemary Ostfeld, founder and CEO of Healthy PlanEat.

    Anne Campbell, adult program and partnership coordinator at the Groton Public Library, said more than 1,200 people attended last year’s event.

    She said libraries serve as community centers, and the expo is a great community event for people of all ages. With many young people passionate about the environment, youth empowerment is important.

    More information is available at https://m.facebook.com/grotonearthdayexpofair.

    People can stop by The Ditty Bag or contact Hine to find out ways to get involved. More information about The Ditty Bag is available at thedittybag.com.

    k.drelich@theday.com

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