The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970, when a United States senator from Wisconsin organized a national demonstration to raise awareness about environmental issues. Rallies took place across the country, and by the end of the year the U.S. government had created the Environmental Protection Agency.

Our planet is an amazing place, but it needs our help to thrive. That’s why each year on April 22 more than a billion people celebrate Earth Day to help protect the planet from climate change and pollution. By taking part in activities like reducing what we buy and use, recycling and reusing everything that we can, picking up trash and planting trees, we are helping make our world a happier, healthier place to live.

This year the Friends of Wallowa County Recycling will again be hosting a three-day Spring Cleaning and Educational event — Thursday, April 21, to Saturday, April 23 — at the Recycling Center in Enterprise in honor of Earth Day. Volunteers will be there to answer questions about recycling. There will be a kid’s coloring contest this year as well as Spin-the-Wheel (back by popular demand). Prizes will include recycled feed sack shopping bags hand-made by volunteers. Come join us.

In addition to volunteers doing a “deep clean” of the Recycling Center and the surrounding area, this year there will be a Community Upcycle Yard Sale where you can bring your reusables and shop for other reusable items such as tools, housewares, furniture, clothing, outdoor gear, etc., etc., etc. … All the funds generated from the yard sale will be used to maintain and expand the Recycling Center.

The yard sale will be Saturday, April 23, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We will be accepting donated items for the sale Thursday-Friday, April 21-22, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday morning before the sale. Please bring any and all of your reusable items that another might enjoy and benefit from, to help support the county’s recycling efforts.

As you know, the Recycle Center accepts white and mixed paper, rigid plastic six-pack holders, metal and aluminum cans, clean plastic containers, (without lids), and cardboard. Next week help us celebrate the beauty of our planet, and the fact it needs our help by bringing your recyclables down to the center, (ask a friend if you can bring theirs as well), picking up trash you see on the side of the road, (much of which is recyclable), using your own shopping bags at the grocery store, thinking twice about the packaging something comes in before buying it, and remembering that the planet is all of our backyard.

Thank you for bringing your reusable items to the Recycle Center next week to help raise funds to support all of our recycling efforts, and joining us at the Community Upcycle Yard Sale on Saturday, April 23. We look forward to seeing you at the Recycle Center.

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Peter Ferré is a member of the Wallowa County Recycling Task Force.

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