“A lot of times environmentalism gets stuck in ‘10 easy steps,’” says Margosia Jadowski, coordinator for Earth Day Savannah 2013. Jadowski, who also works for the Savannah Urban Garden Alliance, is no stranger to the positive effects of a low carbon footprint.
Her work, along with others at SUGA, increases awareness about the importance of local food access while providing sustainable food options to the community. SUGA leads by example through public gardens, workshops and educational programming – including SUGA’s Earth Day workshop, “Growing Culinary Mushrooms,” led by SUGA Director, Kelly Locklamy.
But this isn’t the only organization in the community that advocates an environmentally friendly lifestyle. Earth Day Savannah will offer businesses and organizations the perfect opportunity to support the effort locally.
With a variety of workshops covering topics from outdoor sports to holistic medicine, Earth Day Savannah seeks to step outside the “10 steps” of environmentalism to connect with those of us who think recycling is the end-all be-all to protecting what resources we have left.
“One of the biggest strengths of our festival in particular is it allows our residents to see how complex these issues [of environmentalism] actually are,” says Jadowski, who feels the most important aspect of the event is its focus on education – along with food, a bouncy house and live music from The Moon and You, The Train Wrecks and Sincerely, Iris.
But outside of the park, the Savannah Bicycle Campaign will be gearing up for its 6th annual Earth Day Wheelie “free mobile party” through the streets with a police-escorted Earth Day bike ride. Ending at Blowin’ Smoke BBQ, participants can take part in a “Post Wheelie Dealie” to celebrate the ever-expanding bicycle community, and to remind Savannahians how fun reducing your carbon footprint can actually be.
And the ride seems fitting considering the Banff Mountain Film Festival, which is stopping in Savannah Sunday on its world tour to over 30 countries.
The festival, which is sponsored by The Banff Center in Alberta, Canada, is one of the largest mountain festivals in the world – one which seeks to reveal “exotic landscapes … remote cultures … and adrenaline-packed action sports” to almost 400 communities across the globe – all while pouring back into those communities through donations to local organizations (in Savannah’s case, the Georgia Conservacy and the Savannah Bicycle Campaign).
Even after the weekend is over, Savannah will continue to support an Earth-friendly cause: The Sentient Bean will feature The Earth Day Energy Road Show with music from Aviva and The Flying Penguins.
Keeping in line with Earth Day Savannah’s focus on education, the Road Show will do more than just entertain.
Members of Nuclear Watch South, an Atlanta-based grassroots direct action group that works to educate southeastern communities about the dangers of nuclear technology, will be on-hand to discuss the waste impacts of coal and nuclear power along with event co-sponsors Coastal Group, the Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club.
While their slogan “No Nukes, No Coal, No Fracking Way!” might seem a little over-the-top, their message is clear.
“We don’t need dirty energy anymore. Uninformed mistakes are forgivable if we become aware and change,” says Glenn Carroll, NWS coordinator. Carroll feels the university community can be a driving force in their mission.
And with the end of the Bean’s event, Earth Day in Savannah will certainly go out with an environmentally friendly “bang.” This year’s festivities across Savannah will continue our community’s attempt to remind all of us that Saturday is more than just a holiday — it’s a chance to learn how to celebrate our planet in whatever ways we can.