Earth Week

Since 1970, Earth Day has been a catalyst for change and a powerful reminder that just as we care for our brick and mortar homes, we must also care for and protect our global home- the planet that sustains and protects us. In 1990 over 200 million people in 141 nations joined in the very first International Earth Day to celebrate the biggest environmental event in the world.

In Fernie, Earth Day prompts many to nurture a deeper connection with the earth and move towards a more sustainable lifestyle. This year, Earth Day becomes Earth Week beginning with a curb side Freecycle program. If you have items - furniture, good clothing, tools, working appliances, decor, toys etc., that you no longer need, leave them out on your street front April 16 and 17 between 9-6pm for others to collect and reuse. Your trash could be someone else's treasure! Download a “Freecycle” sign to leave with your items so everyone knows they can help themselves.

The week continues with an earth-friendly event every day, starting with the season's final Think Tank Cinema on Monday 18 at 7pm at The Arts Station. Dirt "...tells the story of Earth's most valuable and under appreciated source of fertility- from its miraculous beginning to its crippling degradation." As always, entry is by donation and free trade snacks and organic popcorn will be available.

As International Earth Day turns 21, the Trashy but Flashy fashion celebrates its 5th birthday on Tuesday 19 with a fusion of trash and fashion on the runway. The evening will feature live entertainment, informative displays, birthday cake and $600 in prizes! If you attended last year, you'll remember the stunning silver ballgown which took first place; the challenge now is for someone to come up with something even better. Prep workshops will be taking place in the preceding weeks to provide technical support and motivation to anyone who wants to enter. Entries will be judged on amount of recycled material used, unique use of materials, creativity and craftsmanship, so start planning and collecting your materials now.

On Wednesday April 20, foster your respect for the power of dirt by attending a seed swap at the Arts Station from 3-7pm and then taking a guided river walk. The World Health Organization suggests that the implications of the global food crisis are immense; growing your own food gives you an invaluable understanding of the life cycle of our food and a vital skill resource. Everyone is welcome at the Seed Swap and you can purchase or swap seeds; new gardeners are encouraged to bring their seeds back next year to replenish the pot. The urban water walk through our wetlands to the Elk River leaves from the Fernie Heritage Library at 7pm. Catch wetland creatures and learn how plants help keep our river clean. Wear rubber boots.

Friday is the wind-up of a week of environmental stewardship with a fun 'Green drinks' event at the Arts Station at 7pm. Live entertainment and socialising are the focus of the evening; join your fellow Fernie fans of the Earth for the culmination of a week of celebrating and preserving our most precious resource.

Community Dollars, a new local currency system, will be launched during Earth Week along with other events (dates TBC) including the Trash Bash and Eco Storytime at the Fernie Heritage Library and the entire month of April is recruitment month for the Fernie Branch of the Kootenay Carshare Co-operative. The Annual Trash Bash is being hosted by the FSS Leadership group on a weekday this year and will include all the usual fun such as lunch and prizes. Watch out for final date and information coming soon.

For full schedule information, contacts and links please visit www.earthdayfernie.ca. Updated information will also be regularly uploaded on www.FernieFix.com and watch out for a full colour supplement in The Free Press.

Other useful links: www.thinklocalfernie.ca, www.nelsoncar.com, www.elkriveralliance.ca, www.earthday.ca, www.earthday.org.