Celebrate Earth Day with ‘Too Good To Toss’ event

The ultimate in recycling, shop for free on Sunday, April 22

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  • Sustainable Warwick volunteers Bill Greene and Roger Moss load Bill’s truck with donations for last year’s Too Good To Toss event. Illustrator Christy Erfer holds the sign with the event logo that she designed.

  • People “shopping” for clothing, arts and crafts, kitchen and housewares, bicycles, sports equipment, baby gear and non-upholstered furniture among many other donations that were “Too Good To Toss” at last year’s Earth Day event. This Sunday, all are invited to shop for the donated items. Make donations on Saturday.

By Linda Smith Hancharick

— On April 22, 1970, millions of people protested the negative impacts of 150 years of industrial development. Smog was becoming deadly and the heavy use of pesticides was having a tremendous impact.

Ecological awareness was taking root. Out of the movement, the Environmental Protection Agency was created and environmental laws, such as the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act, were enacted.

Now, 48 years later, Earth Day is a global event, a day of political action and civic participation.

Too Good To TossSustainable Warwick, in collaboration with the Village and Town of Warwick and Wickham Works, is celebrating Earth Day this weekend with its re-use event, Too Good To Toss, a community swap event at Stanley-Deming Park.

Here’s how it works:

People clean out their basements, garages and closets and bring their unwanted but still in good shape items to the basketball court at Stanley-Deming Park on Saturday, April 21. Items may include artwork, craft supplies, lamps, small appliances, clothing, bedding, bicycles, cameras, CDs, books and puzzles, musical instruments and more (Go to sustainablewarwick.org for the complete list).

Volunteers then sort and arrange the goods into categories, making it easy to shop.

On Earth Day, Sunday, April 22, folks are invited to shop for free at the park. Last year, more than 500 people took home items that escaped the landfill and got new life.

“As a volunteer, I watched peoples’ faces light up as they stumbled upon exactly what they had been needing or wanting,” said Payton Swenson, a volunteer at last year’s event. “Kids fawned over bicycles that they could ride home. I spotted a gorgeous tapestry, and one guy got an entire eight-piece drum set. A group of three roommates told me that, until TGTT, they had one cereal bowl between them!”

Last year’s Too Good To Toss event was a huge success, repurposing enough items that would have otherwise filled 12 Dumpsters, according to organizers.

“TGTT is a great moment when the Warwick community comes together, the best kind of ‘give and take’ where everyone wins,” said Geoff Howard, chairman of Sustainable Warwick. “And the fact that it takes place on Earth Day and keeps tons and tons of ‘stuff’ out of the landfills, means that the planet wins as well.”

This Earth Day, don’t kick your unwanted things to the curb, donate them.

Treecycle at Wickham WorksSustainable Warwick will also partner with Wickham Works for their third annual Treecycle, a hands-on art experience for kids and adults on Sunday, April 22, also at Stanley-Deming Park.

Local artists craft tree sculptures using materials from the waste stream. There are “making stations” where children may make crafts. And all are invited to participate with the artists as they make their unique trees. Of course there will also be tips on how to lessen your environmental footprint.

Vendors will be on hand selling items made with recycled materials.

There will be live music and an ecoraffle. At the end of the event, there will be a walk through an illuminated “forest” at 7 p.m.

For more information, go to www.wickhamworks.org.

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