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Celebrate Earth Sunday in Morristown

The 2012 Earth Day Experience will be held Sunday, April 22, noon to 6 p.m.

Celebrate Earth Sunday in Morristown

When some think about "Earth Day," this year on April 22, perhaps they think about picking up some trash, which is a good thing. Maybe they think about air drying their clothes or . Those are good things, too. What they might not be thinking about is "fun."

The organizers of the , hope to change all that.

The event, being held on multiple levels of the garage, will feature not only information on how people can be better stewards to the planet, but some amusements as well, including garage sales, a farmers' market, even a little live music ().

"It's going to be fun," said Paul Miller, director of Morristown's sustainability office, and the main organizer for Sunday's event. He noted many local organizations that will comprise the six-hour celebration of the planet, including Grow it Green Morristown, , , Bike and Walk Morristown, , Villa Enterprises ( and ) and . There will be a sustainable living expo, sales of environmental and sustainability-oriented products, including a vertical hydroponic garden and organic linens.

"It's an interesting mix," Miller said.

Church of the Redeemer, which is currently going for "Green Sanctuary Certification" through the GreenFaith organization, will be on-hand to talk to people about solar installations, and whether or not someone's home is eligible to participate at no cost.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for those thinking about doing that if they're eligible," said the Rev. Cynthia Black, of Church of the Redeemer. "This is something GreenFaith has initiated and we're partnering with them. Those who do these screenings can tell within about 10 minutes whether or not your house is positioned well enough to take advantage of the sunlight.

"It's a great opportunity and we're happy to partner with GreenFaith to do it," she said.

Garage sale participants include Bike and Walk Morristown, which will have bike parts, supplies, furniture, clothes and, among its wares for sale, a pair of exclusive bumper stickers.

The farmers' market will include several veterans of Morristown's summertime Farmers' Market for those champing at the bit for its return, as well a number of others. These include Valley Shepherd Creamery, Griggstown Quail Farm, Joy B's Farm and Made With Love, a bakery out of Jersey City.

Helen McLaughlin, co-owner of Mini Mac Farm in Long Valley with husband Bill, said they were thrilled to be invited to Earth Day Experience.

"I just think it's awesome, and I wanted to be part of it," she said. 

For sale at the Mini Mac booth will be hormone, steroid and antibiotic-free eggs, grassfed beef, free range chicken and more, raised on the farm's 18 preserved acres the McLaughlin's have owned for six years.

"It's not just a business, it's our lifestyle," Helen McLaughlin said.

Tours of 14 Maple Ave., which has achieved LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, also will be available. 

And, if it rains? Miller said that would be no problem, since everything could just be moved one level down into the garage, which still provides an open-air environment. "Don't let the wet sky dampen your enthusiasm for the event," he said. "We will still have daylight and fresh air."

And, a love for the planet.

"We're excited," Miller said. "This is an opportunity to celebrate Morristown's continued efforts of creating a more sustainable future, not just for us but for generations yet to come. Whether you're well-versed or new to some of these issues, it's an opportunity to meet other likeminded folks and really discover your part in what really needs to be a community-wide effort."

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