By Morgan Taylor, Reporter
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma – The Muscogee Nation (Creek) Nation Environmental Services has planned events for the month of April in celebration of Earth Day, which is April 22.
The first Earth Day celebration took place on April 22, 1970. This year holds the 51st celebration worldwide according to MCN Environmental Services Environmental Specialist Kristy Lawson.
On Thursday April 22, the department plans to hold a Community Clean Up Event. The event was scheduled for April 16 but has been changed due to weather.
Registration for the event will take place at the MCN Tribal Executive Building parking lot starting at noon. Transit will then shuttle registered participants to pick up trash along State HWY Loop 56 until 3 pm. Transit will then shuttle participants to the MCN Recycle Center for fellowship, cookout, t-shirts, plants and prizes until 4 pm.
The event is open to all MCN citizens 18 and older.
On Friday April 23, the department will hold a Recycle and Document Shredding Event. This will be a drop-off recycle event.
“We ask that everybody stay in their cars and we will have people there to unload,” Lawson said.
The event will start at 9 am at the MCN Recycle Center. From 10 am to 1 pm Shredders Inc. will be there for free secure document shredding. The event will shut down at 3 pm.
“For the document shredding, to help save us some time, we ask every one to remove papers from binders and take the alligator clips off,” Lawson said. “Small paper clips and staples can stay but the other stuff we can’t shred.”
The Recycling Event will only be accepting paper, cardboard, plastics (1&2), and aluminum. MCN Environmental Service Environmental Service Specialist Judy Ausmus defines plastics (1&2) as the bottles of typical household items.
“On the bottom of the plastic it’s going to have a number one or two,” Lawson explains. “Things like toys and thin packaging are not considered plastics one and two.”
The department will not be accepting e-waste, tires, or white goods during this event.
“We ask everyone to hold on to those items and bring them to use on National Recycle Day in Nov,” Lawson explains.
The MCN Environmental Services has created weekly challenges for the month.
Week 1-Switch to reusable cup
Week 2-Participate in a Community Clean up
Week 3-Transform trash into treasure
Week 4-Plant a garden or tree
Citizens can share photos participating in the challenges on the MCN Facebook Page to be entered to win a prize.
“We just want to get people engaged and make these small differences because they really do add up,” Lawson said. “We have several prizes to give for people that do these challenges.”
The MCN Environmental Services partnered with MCN Reintegration Program, Up With Trees, Fastenal, Keep Oklahoma Beautiful, Shredders Inc., and the Okmulgee Co Conservation District to make this possible.
The MCN Environmental Services is currently fixing the website to update information and education on living sustainably.
Planting a garden is one way to encourage sustainability according to Lawson.
“You think about the packaging, the plastic, the Styrofoam, the foil,” Ausmus reiterates. “Planting a garden not only do you get the therapeutic aspect of it but your food is fresh an you know where it comes from.”
The Environmental Services encourages citizens to participate in the challenges and events for Earth Day and check the updated website for ways to live more sustainably and lower the carbon footprint of each individual.