Get Ready for Earth Day With These 'Green' Opportunities

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Get a jump start on Earth Day with family-friendly events, including local Spring Big Sweep waterway clean-ups.

While Earth Day is still nearly a month away, on April 22, families looking to make a difference don’t have to wait that long to celebrate. Here are some upcoming opportunities for your family to explore ways to protect and preserve our natural resources, both at home and out in the community.

Wake County Compost Bins on Sale through March 31

Wake County’s Solid Waste Management Division is offering compost bins at a reduced rate through March 31. Residents can preorder a compost bin for $50 dollars, which is 50 percent lower than retail cost, and learn about composting from Solid Waste Management personnel.

Food scraps and other organic waste, such as lawn clippings, can make up approximately 25 percent of what is in your trash can. Instead of sending these items to the landfill, consider giv them a second life through composting. Soil composting reduces the need for chemical fertilizers, helps soil retain moisture, reduces the amount of greenhouse gases produced in landfills and even serves as an educational tool for children about recycling and conservation.

If you don’t live in Wake County, visit your county’s solid waste management division website to learn what’s available to you. Many local communities offer reduced-price compost bins, demonstrations and educational materials.

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Civil War Park Day at Bennett Place in Durham, April 1

Help Bennett Place State Historic Site's summer garden grow by volunteering on Civil War Park Day. Volunteers can help with trail maintenance, clearing the Bennett family cemetery and fixing the fence around the historic garden. Adults and children are welcome. Civil War Park Day T-shirts, light snacks and drinks will be provided.

The Civil War Preservation Trust and Civil War historic sites across the nation cooperatively organize the volunteer work day to preserve the country’s Civil War sites. This event takes place 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, April 1, at Bennett Place State Historical Site in Durham. The rain date is April 8. 

Participate in the Spring Big Sweep to Clean Up Waterways

As part of the Spring Big Sweep, local soil and water conservation districts sponsor numerous clean-up days at creeks, lakes, streams and wetlands that flow into area rivers. Volunteers remove garbage that can be harmful to the water and local wildlife. These events play an important role in keeping local waterways litter-free, ecologically viable and safe for drinking or other uses.

To find Spring Big Sweep, Creek Week or other waterway clean-up events near you, visit the websites for Wake County, Durham County, Town of Chapel Hill or your local soil and water conservation district. Note that not all events are open to the public or to children.

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