Earth Day is fast approaching, with Thursday marking the modern holiday’s 51st lap around the sun. In human years, we might say that it’s “over the hill,” so to speak, but in Earth years, the holiday born to protect those hills is a mere babe in arms, its short but tenacious history aimed at mobilizing efforts to mitigate the negative environmental impacts of modern human society.
On Thursday, events around town will continue the tradition, offering options from film screenings to trail clean-ups to get Earth lovers thinking, moving and shaking. Environmental proponents advocate for lasting actions and creating habits over one-time actions, and creating the habit of fixing things as they wear out rather than replacing them is a great place to start.
On Thursday from 6-7 p.m., the Wilkinson Public Library will host “Don’t ditch it, darn it,” an Earth Day event featuring Austin-based artist Elmer Gomer. Grab that favorite pair of pants that’s been languishing in your project pile and get ready to embrace the “reuse” tenant of the “reduce, reuse, recycle” triangle. Gomer will show participants how to sew on a patch and even how to create your own custom patch. The first 20 participants to register can also pick up a free sewing kit and one of Gomer’s handcrafted patches from the library.
“We're hoping that by offering classes and workshops that empower people to undertake their own fun- and creativity-inducing recycling practices, we can all reduce our collective footprint as a community,” said Joanna Spindler, adult programs specialist at the library, adding that fans of hands-on classes can look forward to more DIY and upcycling-themed workshops throughout the summer.
In addition to boosting your eco IQ, the workshop with Gomer will help you keep your favorite threads in style and out of the landfill, noted Jill Wilson, the library’s public services manager.
“I think this is an incredibly valuable skill for people to learn how to do rather than just tossing their clothes away because of one pesky hole,” she said.
For those that seek an evening of learning, Pinhead Institute, in collaboration with Sheep Mountain Alliance and the Telluride Institute, is hosting a free screening of the documentary film “Racing Extinction,” starting at 7:45 p.m. at the Transfer Warehouse. The film explores the ways in which global industries are leading to mass extinction, shining a glaring spotlight on the deleterious effects of phenomena like the illegal wildlife trade and ocean acidification.
“This film specifically does focus on actions and outcomes,” Pinhead Executive Director Sarah Holbrooke said. “I hope viewers who watch the film leave knowing some things they can put in their back pocket to become more friendly to the planet.”
Pinhead, a Smithsonian affiliate, participated last year in the Smithsonian’s Earth Optimism Summit, during which youth from around the world focused on creating solutions to threats posed by climate change, with a sense of hope rather than loss as a guiding force. As part of the project, high school interns, known as Pinterns, planned to screen environmental films and have young people subsequently write letters to the editor to their local newspapers as a way of reaching a wider audience with their thoughts.
Jadin Scott, a Pintern and local high school junior, helped plan Thursday’s screening.
“This film promotes living a more sustainable lifestyle in order to preserve our beautiful Earth, and I hope people are able to take away a strengthened sense of the magnitude of our current climate crisis,” Scott said. “Films like ‘Racing Extinction’ remind me that despite the common perception, one person doing small things can make a difference in the bigger picture of things, and that it isn’t too late to change our behaviors and habits and save the planet.”
Residents of Norwood also have an opportunity to attend an Earth Day film screening. From 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Lone Cone Library, attendees can watch “The Regeneration,” a film exploring regenerative solutions to diverse environmental challenges, followed by a discussion.
And if you are looking for a hands-on, community clean-up to show your Earth Day spirit, a volunteer tidying of the river trail in Telluride will begin at 2 p.m. under the bra in Town Park. Volunteers should bring a spade or shovel, a five-gallon bucket, gloves and trash bags, with CBD dog treats offered as a thank you to volunteers.