65° F Thursday, May 25, 2017

Earth Day, April 22, is a day to encourage awareness and appreciation for Earth’s natural environment.

Whether you choose to celebrate it by recycling, restricting water usage or picking up litter, the earth will always give back.

Keep Bastrop County Beautiful secretary Dorothy Skarnulis said that Earth Day is one day of the year which gives emphasis to how one should live every day.

KBCB is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring individuals and businesses to improve their community and the natural environment.

“Think before you throw,” Skarnulis said. “If everything goes in the trash, we’ll soon run out of room for its disposal so where will you live? Have you seen the TV reality show “Hoarders?” That’s what your world will look like without recycling. We recycle everything that we can including food (compost), but I do wish that waste providers would encourage more recycling with very small trash containers and very large recycling bins.”

KBCB is joining forces with Lost Pines Toyota to celebrate Earth Day April 20 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and April 22 from 2-6 p.m. at its dealership on Texas 71. There will be games for the kids and information for all, including tours of their ‘LEED’ certified facility.

“We are committed to being on the forefront of the Green Initiative and revolutionizing the way car dealerships do business,” said Jim Wilkinson, Lost Pines Toyota general sales manager. “Deeply inspired by the Bastrop community’s devotion to the environment and historic preservation, we present an entirely green operation.”

According to the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green building program that provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

Lost Pines Toyota is one of only two LEED-certified facilities in the county: They practice rainwater harvesting, recycling, xeriscaping and are working to make purchasing a vehicle paperless.

Three stations will be set up to highlight conservation techniques and earth-friendly initiatives. Volunteers will also be onsite, helping participants figure out what their carbon footprint is on this earth.

The slogan of the Heart of Texas Green Expo, hosted by KBCB for the second year, is, “Going ‘Back to our Roots,’ a simpler time when conservation and recycling came naturally…when all resources were precious.”

“I remember listening to my father and grandparents talk about the Great Depression and how they lived out of necessity, not because they had a choice to throw or repurpose,” Skarnulis said. “I don’t think we want to live as they had to.”

Here are some upcoming opportunities to learn more about caring and repurposing resources:

• April 26: State Arbor Day Celebration from 11-2 p.m. at the Bastrop Convention Center.

• May 4: Household Hazardous Waste Cleanup at Bastrop Mayfest Park Arena, behind the American Legion post, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30pm.

• June 7-9: The Heart of Texas Green Expo at the Bastrop Convention Center will offer more than 40 speakers on a wide variety of topics, including building and architecture, water, food, gardening and agriculture, renewable energy and other energy topics. Music, art, children’s activities and food will also be on-site.

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