By DANIEL SUDDEATH
NEW ALBANY —
Though the skies were gray for most of the day, green was the prominent theme during the inaugural Celebrate Mother Earth Festival.
The nonprofit Trash Force Inc. sponsored the event, as people were informed about recycling and reuse while enjoying festivities at the New Albany Riverfront Amphitheater.
Trash Force has been educating the public about ways to take care of Mother Earth for more than 20 years in Floyd County.
Saturday’s festival — complete with vendors, the Jamey Aebersold Jazz band and local beer — was a new medium for spreading their message.
“We’re trying to, of course, emphasize how important recycling and reuse is,” said Trash Force President Warren Nash.
People are more informed about being earth-friendly these days, and the country’s youth seem to be leading the way when it comes to being a good steward of natural resources, he said.
But there’s still more environmental frontiers to span, Carol Findling said.
Though she lives in Louisville now, Findling was one of the charter members of Trash Force. With the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration observing never-before-recorded amounts of carbon dioxide in the air last week in Hawaii, she said transportation is a vital issue to the future of the environment.
Public transit is one way to cut down on the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, Findling said.
“You save a lot of pollution if there’s 15 people in one vehicle, even if it’s a bus,” she said.
Electronic items were collected to be recycled, vendors handed out information about their organizations and Amazon Jungle John entertained children during the festival.
New Albany resident and local attorney Brandon Smith watched his 5-year-old son as he made new friends while jumping to and fro in an inflatable “bouncy house.”
“We went to the Farmer’s Market earlier, then we did some Mother’s Day shopping and then we headed down here,” Smith said.
Cherishing the environment is important, and there’s no better time to begin learning about ways to cut down on pollution than when you’re young, Smith said of why he brought his son to the festival.
New Albany First President Kate Caufield said the organization was glad to be able to have a booth at the event. She said the day served as an opportunity to network with other groups in the area.
“It’s been a fantastic event because we’ve had a chance to talk with some different organizations that we don’t see every day,” she said.
Trash Force will host its annual meeting in August, and the organization will continue to provide newsletters in the community.
To learn how to become a member of the organization, call 812-948-1292.