Earth Day Roanoke celebration teaches people how to reduce waste

ROANOKE, Va. – More than a thousand people crowded the streets of Grandin Village on Saturday to celebrate the planet we all live on.

More than 50 vendors and Grandin businesses showed their spirit to think green in honor of Earth Day.

For more than 30 years, a committee has organized the street-style festival to encourage generations of people to save the planet.

“Having the young people involved is really important because the older people move on and the younger people need to take over,” said Earth Day Committee Chairman Bill Modica.

While music and food help attract a crowd, scraps thrown on a tarp seemed to garner even more attention.

The Harvest Collective Co-Founder Davey Stewards showed people how a compost trailer turns food scraps into nutrient-rich soil for gardening.

“Every day is Earth Day for me and my comrades in the Collective,” he said. “Gosh, we only have one Earth. We only have one shot to get the right relationship with Earth.”

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While the compost on wheels helps keep boxes out of landfills, Gary Hunt is trying to keep school supplies out of the trash through his program called Bookbag Santa.

“American kids throw away everything,” Hunt said. “So, we tell them whatever you don’t want, put it in a box for us.”

Every year, Hunt sifts through one ton of school supplies Roanoke City students toss out.

Hunt then takes a trip to Belize to give them to children in need.

Overall, Stewards hopes people reflect on their own personal connection with the place they call home.

“Folks, can go to every single one of these booths and pick up a little bit of knowledge of this holistic relationship with the Earth,” Stewards said.

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