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Earth Day Celebration makes it great to be green

© 2013 JL. Hendricks - www.jonlhendricks.com

© 2013 Jon L. Hendricks - www.jonlhendricks.com

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Updated: June 16, 2014 4:01AM



You don’t have to spend any green to get great tips about living green at the Northwest Indiana Earth Day Celebration, scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Porter County Expo Center in Valparaiso.

“This event has a lot of great messages with so many different kinds of ways to help the planet and love the environment. There is such a wide variety of programs and products, demonstrations and activities that this really has something for everybody,” said Donna Stuckert, the public education coordinator of the Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County, the event organizer.

The Earth Day Celebration is a free event that has more than 75 exhibitors and organizations providing information on products and services, including wildlife rehabilitators, renewable energy sources for your home, holistic health, organic cosmetics, environmentally friendly cleaning items, reusable diapers and other products for parents, and much more. There also will be free confidential document shredding from 9 a.m. to noon by Opportunity Enterprises.

The first 300 families will receive a free reusable bag. Visitors will need a bag to carry the information and samples they’ll receive.

“We encourage our exhibitors to have a demonstration, a giveaway or a kids activity. We have a lot of families who come, and in past years a lot of the exhibitors have done a great job of offering creative ways to engage kids,” Stuckert said.

Children also will enjoy several entertaining and informative programs, some returning and some new this year.

Silly Safaris is a fun and interesting live animal show with performances at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. This Indiana-based organization strives to create positive interactions between humans and animals with the goal of inspiring responsible pet ownership and wildlife conservation.

The Recycle Cycle returns this year with a garbage man presenting an interactive show filled with entertaining environmental education and “recycled” jokes at 12:30 p.m.

“Reduce-Reuse-Recycle!” is at 1:30 p.m. This is the Lake County Solid Waste Management District’s fun, engaging and award-winning environmental show.

“We’re excited to have these partners returning with their very popular programs, but we’re also excited to have a new program (at 10:30 a.m.) with the firefighters from the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore,” Stuckert said. “They’ll have a fire engine inside and do ‘Touch a Truck.’ They’ll also have a program and ask for junior volunteers to come on stage with Smokey Bear, try on some of the gear and learn about firefighting techniques.

“And also new this year, Midwest Wind and Solar will talk about what so many people have in the back of their mind: the first steps about renewable energy and how to set it up in your home.”

Their program, “Renewable Energy Basics — How Does It Work?” is scheduled for 9:30 a.m.

“We’ll also have a couple of electric vehicles from Purdue University and the EcoCar competition they’re involved in, and there’ll be some other alternative fuel vehicles with a sort of preview of Race for the Future, the annual race in downtown Whiting, on May 31 this year, which is an event that attracts inventors from all over the U.S.,” Stuckert said.

Admission and parking for the Northwest Indiana Earth Day Celebration are free.

The Porter County Expo Center is at 215 E. Division Road in Valparaiso, at the fairgrounds on Indiana 49.

For more details and a growing list of exhibitors and vendors, visit www.itmeanstheworld.org.



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