Earth Day: local events, info and quizzes -
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Earth Day: local events, info and quizzes

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As our environment turns green in spring, Earth Day asks us to look at how we can make our world even greener — or more ecologically friendly.

Elmwood Park main stage schedule
11 a.m., music: Michael Murphy
11:40 a.m., Sloan Dawson
11:55 a.m., Transportation Master Plan
12:05 p.m., music: Linoma Mashers
12:45 p.m., NRD Board Chairman Rick Kolowski
12:55 p.m., Kristi Wamstad-Evans, Sustainability Coordinator of Omaha, “Sustainability@TheCity and reEnergize Program”
1:10 p.m., GOC Grass Roots Award & Education
1:35 p.m., music: Kris Lager Acoustic
2:10 p.m., Kara Henner Eastman: The Omaha One Touch Program: Working together to create green & healthy homes in Omaha
2:20 p.m., EDOC Friend of the Environment Awards
2:30 p.m., Daniel Lawse
2:40 p.m., music: Southpaw Bluegrass Band
3:15 p.m., Clayton Chapman, Grey Plume proprietor on being one of America's Greenest Restaurants
3:25 p.m., Jim Knopik, Center for Rural Affairs board chairman
3:40 p.m., music: Icky Blossoms
4:15 p.m., Climate Change by Professor James Wilson, physiological ecologist, University of Nebraska at Omaha
4:25 p.m., music: Old Money
5 p.m., Standing With Randy
5:10 p.m., Earth Day Every Day
5:20 p.m., music: Satchel Grande

How to celebrate Earth Day at home

Maybe you can't get to Elmwood Park on Saturday, but you still want to feel you're contributing to Earth Day. Here are five things families can do together:

>> Change out incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent bulbs. It saves energy and in the long run, saves money.

>> Make sure your appliances and lights are not on when they're not being used or there is plenty of sunlight.

>> Decide what you can recycle. Start recycling if you don't already. Recycling bins are available to single family households within the City of Omaha at these locations: UnderTheSink, Special Waste Facility, 4001 S. 120th St.; Omaha Sewer Maintenance Facility, 6880 Q St. (south side main entrance; do not drive into maintenance yard); or the Omaha Traffic Maintenance Facility, 4303 S. 50th St. (west side main entrance; do not drive into maintenance yard).

>> Don't use hot water when washing clothing or linens. Make sure you are running full or nearly full loads instead of smaller, more frequent loads.

>> Switch to a phosphate-free dishwashing detergent. Phosphorus pollution can cause algal blooms in waterways that damage ecosystems by robbing the water and aquatic life of oxygen.

Omaha's Earth Day celebration will be Saturday in Elmwood Park from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The free event will be full of booths run by a variety of groups and businesses that will demonstrate ways to improve the environment and products to help the effort. A beer garden will be open from noon to 6 p.m.

A stage area will alternate between short talks on ecological ideas and live music throughout the day. At 2:15 p.m., the Earth Day Omaha Coalition will present this year's Friend of the Environment awards. The award goes to an individual who has dedicated significant time and energy to protecting the environment or pursuing an environmental issue. The second award will honor a company that has gone above and beyond its mission to be a leader in environmental protection and awareness.

Children's activities include the Watercolor Petunia Pot organized by Omaha Creative Institute from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the Balloon Guy, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. A special area will be set up as an education center, which will allow schools to show off their green practices and projects.

The Great Cloth Diaper Change will be located in the beer garden all day. Parents will compete for prizes based to see who can change a reusable cloth diaper the fastest.

In the demonstration tent, visitors can find out how to plant a tree at 12:54 p.m., build their own rain barrels at 1:30 p.m. and create a container garden at 2:15 p.m.

The health and wellness area will feature a rock climbing wall. Demonstrations and lessons by Omaha Hoop will be presented at noon and at 1 p.m. there will be an introduction to Capoeira Angola, a martial art that combines music, dance, complex moves, power, speed and leverage. The Raqs Awn Belly Dance Collective is scheduled for 2 p.m. and Cynthia Gordon will introduce yoga at 3 p.m.

Unwanted electronics also can be handed in for recycling. Most items can be recycled for free, although there will be a small charge based on size for CRT-type monitors and televisions. Last year, 25,000 pounds were collected.

During the Dust Off Your Bike Event, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., anyone who hasn't ridden for a while or who thinks his bike needs a tune-up can check in with volunteers from Activate Omaha, Omaha Bikes and the Community Bike Project. They will inspect it, clean it, lubricate it and fill tires for free.

Information on bike riding in Douglas County will be available. People who have spare bikes can bring them to donate to the Community Bike Project.

There will be a talk on bicycle safety and maintenance in the demonstration tent at 3 p.m.

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