Greenfest was held at the Botanical Gardens in Tucson, Arizona on April 24. It is a day filled with exhibits, displays, and activities to teach about being green and why it is good for our planet. This year it was presented by Bookman’s and many other organizations attended such as the Girl Scouts, the Sunflower Farmer’s Market, and the U.S. Green Building Council. All of the groups that were there had presentations, booth displays and activities for kids. They explained the effects of not being green, how to help the earth, and how things like solar power work.
The Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists had a booth set up that showed the many plants and seeds found out here in the desert that can be eaten. Dan Granger spoke at length about the many wonderful foods that can be made from plants that grow naturally. He was very knowledgeable and willing to answer any question that came up. The purpose of this booth was to show that people out here didn’t have to get their food from faraway places and that it was possible to shrink our footprint by eating things naturally grown in the desert. There were recipes on the table for the taking, but I think it would have been a great idea to have some of the foods premade so people could sample the foods of the desert.
The Southern Arizona Green Chamber of Commerce had a booth showing how important it was to recycle. They really got the point across with the kid’s activity they had set up. Tracy Wright played a game with my son with squares of paper. On one side of the paper was written a kind of trash such as glass, newspaper, and plastic bags. On the other side was how long it took that piece of trash to decompose when thrown away. It was a shock to know that glass takes over a million years to even begin to decompose and even at that point it still looks like the original bottle. Plastic isn’t much better decomposing after 450 years. Tracy did a wonderful job explaining how important it is to recycle because once garbage is thrown away; it takes more than a lifetime for most of it to be broken down. It would have been really neat to be able to see examples of different pieces of garbage that had been breaking down over different periods of time.
The Girl Scouts had many booths and exhibits around the gardens. A few of them dealt with solar technology, how it works, and its benefits. There were solar powered cable cars strung across the area to help explain how solar energy works. When placed in the sun, the cars ran and when they went into the shade, they stopped. Michelle Higgins had a solar telescope that made it possible to safely look at the sun. She explained that the sun looked like it was moving not because it really was moving, but because the Earth is always rotating. She also explained that because the sun isn’t always shining, solar power can’t always be used. Engineers are needed to figure out ways to use solar power continuously even on days when it’s not sunny. This exhibit showed that it is possible to use solar energy and that it works just as well as electricity for the most part. I would have liked to have seen the benefits of using solar energy verses electricity on some kind of chart or demonstration.
Greenfest at the Botanical Gardens in Tucson, Arizona was a wonderful Earth Day activity filled with knowledge of the importance of being green to help the earth. There were many activities and booths available to learn about recycling, solar power, reducing your food footprint, and saving water. It was definitely worth the visit and was a very enjoyable experience.