Finally returning to Severna Park High School after two years, organizers of the annual Earth Day Festival are thrilled to be back on April 30 to offer new community activities.

The festival strives to teach and inspire people on ways to take care of the planet and its inhabitants. New this year are expanded ideas and opportunities for donation, repurposing and recycling items. Organized by the Good Neighbors Group, the festival is designed to teach the community how to think about the planet, and one another, all year long.

“People should come because there is something for everyone at this event. It’s inviting for all ages. It’s social and impactful,” said Chris Myers, festival co-organizer. “From crafts to artisans selling amazing and creative items, to food, music, animals, collections that unburden stuff from your home while doing good for someone else and the planet, and the opportunity to learn new things and look at the world around us and the things we have a little differently!”

Julie Shay, founder and executive director of the Good Neighbors Group, and festival co-organizer, said there will be more “drop-off” opportunities this year, making it simple for people to re-home or dispose of the things that have been taking up space in their homes, but doing it in a meaningful way by connecting with local groups, and in a way that does the least harm to the environment. There will also be a “free sale” hosted by the Buy Nothing Project.

“People should attend because every year they leave inspired to try something new, a new step toward being more conscious of their choices and the impacts of their choices on people and the planet,” Shay added. “It’s a festive event where you can learn and have fun, and you can also unload the burden of things you no longer need or things you have been holding onto because you weren’t sure how to dispose of them or didn’t have the chance.”

Some of the things that will be collected for recycle or repurpose are:

  • Sporting Goods
  • 5 plastics, like pill bottles and yogurt containers
  • Electronics, including TVs
  • Styrofoam
  • Fluorescent tube bulbs
  • Corks
  • Pet supplies
  • Plastic bags
  • Alkaline batteries

Shay said that the annual festival, and also Earth Day itself, has become much more than recycling.

“It’s about making intentional choices about things we need versus things we want and considering the cradle-to-grave pathway of what we acquire,” she said. “Can we borrow or share rather than purchasing new? Can we buy something used? If we’re buying something, can it be repaired or have a life when I’m done with it? Can I buy something locally from a small business rather than a chain store? Can I buy one with less packaging or something that can be repurposed or refilled rather than thrown away?

“It’s also about refusing to accumulate more and more things. Some accumulation is inevitable, and we need to practice good stewardship in doing the best we can to dispose of it.”

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Good Neighbors Group strengthens communities by sharing opportunities that have a positive social and environmental impact.

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Severna Park, MD. 21146

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