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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Make every day Earth Day

 Earth Day 2015 Image

While Earth Day was officially April 22, it was never intended to be a focus for one day only.  Here are some good ideas to keep it going + a look at storytelling and even puppetry ideas for Earth Day and beyond. 

Because it fell during the week, if you are here in the metro Detroit area you might want to go to an excellent annual celebration held at Carl's Family YMCA in Milford this Sunday.  From 1-5p.m.   If you can, go to this practical, fun family festival.  Notice the first thing the article mentions is giving out free seedling trees.  "Mother Earth" always has lots to give away.  Planting them also fits Arbor Day, whose dates vary, but here in Michigan is the last Friday in April.  There's much more than the article had space to list, but North Oakland County Storytellers, yes, including me, will be telling stories related to the day also.    Once you go, you'll want to attend every year.

The Arbor Day Foundation
While mentioning Arbor Day, why not go to the Arbor Day Foundation site and join?  With your membership you will get ten free trees, a tree guide to more than 200 varieties of trees, 100 varieties of additional trees discounted with free shipping included, and the Arbor Day newsletter.  This non-profit carries on the work of  the first Arbor Day observance in 1872. The Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with over one million members, supporters, and valued partners.  The story of Arbor Day itself is interesting and especially the story of the U.S. start by Julius Sterling Morton which stretches from his roots here in Michigan, to seeing its need on the plains of Nebraska, to Washington, D.C. where he was Secretary of Agriculture in the administration of President Cleveland, to Chicago where his son, Joy, the founder of the Morton Salt Company, carried on the family love of trees with an enormous arboretum and estate.

Here's a list of 8 common things you didn't know you could recycle.  If you don't want to ship your nylons off to No Nonsense (the second to the last item), you can give them to me for puppet stuffing.  I use them in puppet making workshops with old stuffed animals.  Here I am at a different workshop on how to use puppets with "Ivan", who has appeared here before because he lets me use sign language.  He has a bit of a story about the day I made him from a very old stuffed animal.  Detroit Puppeteers Guild had a workshop led by deaf puppeteer, April Cooper, on how to make him, but neither of us expected that the oldest stuffed animals were stuffed with styrofoam pellets.  I'm a big recycler of styrofoam, but those pesky pellets are probably still lurking in cracks at the Livonia Civic Center Library because opening the toy erupted into pellets everywhere! 
Ivan the Signing Siberian Tiger

and being eaten by Rainbow Boa Boa
I also have something else you might want to recycle with 7 surprising ways to use pet hair.  You could combine the nylons with the pet hair for absorbing oil spills -- the first surprising way to use all that pet hair.  With the double fur coat of my husky/malamute, I plan to try #7 for my rural garden, but know many people do indeed spin it into yarn.

You may have noticed both those last two links go to  If you join that site you can find a wide array of free e-cards along with information supporting a multitude of causes and healthy living.

As I write this, National Storytelling Network's special interest group National Storytelling Network's Healing Story Alliance Special Interest Group
is due to post its April 7 teleconference with storyteller/biologist Fran Stallings.  H.S.A. has the March 24, 2015 up, so I presume the lively discussion will be available soon as their teleconferences, along with other resources, are always posted afterward.  Fran's topic was "Stealth Eco-telling, Putting Your Repertory Where Your Heart Is" and she did exactly that, showing ways to use stories you may already know.  She also was wise enough to point out the need for including positive stories to avoid the easy to fall into "gloom and doom" mood when mentioning the need for ecology.

Take care of the Earth . . . so far it's the only livable  planet we have and need to keep it that way.

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