Local annual Earth Day celebration moving to Bluffton

mmcnab@beaufortgazette.comApril 17, 2013 

  • IF YOU GO:

    What: Earth Day celebration, including cooking demonstrations, live music and an obstacle course

    When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 27

    Where: Carson Cottages on Calhoun Street in Old Town, Bluffton

    Cost: Free

Local environmental awareness nonprofit Experience Green will move its annual Earth Day celebrations from Hilton Head Island to Bluffton this month.

Instead of taking place at Shelter Cove Community Park on Hilton Head as it did the last two years, the third annual celebration will be at Carson Cottages on Calhoun Street in Old Town. The festivities -- which include cooking demonstrations, live music and an obstacle course -- will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 27. Admission is free.

Abby Wirth, program manager for Experience Green, said the organization moved the celebration to Bluffton to try to expand its reach.

"We're trying to expand more into the rest of the county," she said, "and we're trying to collaborate with more of the towns."

The celebration will be preceded by the 13th Annual May River Cleanup, which will start at 9 a.m. from Bluffton Oyster Factory Park on Wharf Street. Last year, 12 miles of river and five miles of roads were cleared of trash by the 200 participants.

The organization is also seeking donations of certain recyclable materials to support its partnership with Terracycle's "Brigade" program. Experience Green will accept donations of old cellphones, laptop computers, plastic dairy tubs, juice pouches and No. 6 plastic cups (Solo-style cups) during the Earth Day celebration. Those materials are then donated to Terracycle, which turns them into items like tote bags and place mats that are sold at most major retail stores.

"We get points for each donation that we make to Terracycle," Wirth said. "At the end of the year, those points are turned into a monetary donation we get back from them."

More than 900 people attended last year's celebration, up from 500 at the inaugural event in 2011.

This year's celebration will again be a "zero waste" event, with the organization's goal of not accumulating any waste that needs to be taken to a landfill. Last year's celebration met that goal, generating 80.4 pounds of waste that could either be recycled or composted, Wirth said.

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