Marietta set to celebrate Earth Day

MARIETTA – Turn your trash into artwork, make something useful out of those little spiked balls that fall from Marietta’s sweet gum trees, share some recycling ideas or learn how to build an environmentally friendly house – it’s time to celebrate Earth Day 2013.

Marietta’s 14th Earth Day celebration will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in East Muskingum Park, according to Marilyn Ortt, a member of the local Earth Day event committee.

“Some of the early event fliers say the event is being held at Armory Square, but due to construction there, we’ve moved to East Muskingum Park,” she said. “Several hundred people are expected to attend, and everyone is invited to share information and ideas about all kinds of ‘green’ initiatives to take better care of our Earth.”

Ortt said the event will include games, activities and prizes for both children and adults, as well as a variety of Earth-friendly exhibits, from recycling ideas to hybrid vehicles and green construction.

“We’ll also have the annual Trash-To-Art and Marietta Sweet Gum Ball contests,” Ortt said. “Look in your wastebaskets and trash cans, and use those materials to design a piece of artwork, or make something out of the sweet gum tree balls you can find on nearly any sidewalk in Marietta.”

She said those pieces of artwork should be completed and brought to the Earth Day event by 10 a.m. so that attendees can vote for their favorite. Ortt said the best work will win a prize.

Dan Harrison, owner of Harrison Construction in Marietta, will bring the “Simply Green” display house to Saturday’s celebration.

“It’s basically a miniature house, about 10×20 feet, that we tow around on a trailer,” he said. “It’s an educational tool we take to area schools and colleges to show that construction can be green, too.”

Harrison said the mini house has solar panels that generate electricity and roofing shingles made out of recycled tires and plastics.

“The siding is made of a cement mixture which is considered the ultimate in ‘green’ siding,” he said. “Inside there is recycled tile and glass materials, and insulation made out of recycled blue jeans that’s actually better than traditional insulation. And a countertop inside is made of recycled newspaper, but can be submerged in water without being damaged.”

Harrison said when many people hear the word “recycled” they tend to think it means using someone else’s waste materials and it’s therefore an inferior product.

“But actually just the opposite is true,” he said. “These materials have been developed by entrepreneurs and are often far superior to standard building materials.”

Ortt said Marietta’s Earth Day celebration will be held rain or shine.

“We’ll take whatever Mother Nature sends us,” she said.