Shoe, book recycling efforts among valley’s Earth Day events |

Shoe, book recycling efforts among valley’s Earth Day events

Seeing the light

BASALT – As Earth Day approaches on Friday, schoolkids in Basalt are learning if the shoe doesn’t fit, recycle it.

The elementary, middle and high schools are teaming with the Basalt Thrift Store on a program to get shoes that aren’t needed onto the feet of people who can use them or get worn shoes recycled.

Families at the elementary school have collected shoes recently and plan to create a humongous pile of shoes Friday morning to help celebrate Earth Day. Basalt Thrift Store will pay the schools 5 cents per pound of shoes, up to an amount to be determined. The money will be used to support the summer school program in the cash-strapped schools, according to Julia Pratt, executive director of the thrift store.

She anticipates that most of the shoes that have been collected will be in good enough condition to be sold. Those that are too worn will be sent to a recycling center that puts the materials to new uses, she said.

The thrift store has found a way to get the community at-large involved in the shoe drive. A collection bin will be placed at the entry of the City Market in El Jebel this week and shoes will be collected until June 1, according to Pratt. The weight of the shoes will count toward the school’s fundraising effort.

“Once people know, they’re going to bring a pair of shoes every time they go shopping,” Pratt said.

Kara Williams, the parent of an elementary school student, said Earth Day will also be the pay-off day for a book recycling effort. Kids have been donating books they no longer read.

“The idea is that children will clean out their bookshelves of books they’ve outgrown and share books with kids who are younger than them,” Williams said. “We have hundreds. Any kid that wants a book will be able to take one home.”

Following are other Earth Day activities:

• Basalt will host the 13th annual Children’s Earth Day Parade starting at 10 a.m. Friday The parade will start at the elementary school – come snow, rain or shine – and wind down Midland Avenue. Anyone is welcome to participate. They are urged to dress in costume, use props, flags, balloons and posters or carry banners. They can walk, bike, push a stroller or a wagon but no motorized vehicles.

• After the parade, Basalt area residents are urged to attend a meeting of a new committee that will plan events tied to Basalt joining the Compassionate Cities campaign. Basalt became the second city or town in the world to approve the Chart for Compassion, joining Seattle. Numerous other cities around the globe are preparing to join the effort. The new committee will meet at 11:15 a.m. at Basalt Town Hall to organize events tied to the effort. Bring a brown-bag lunch. The meeting will end by 12:30 p.m.

• The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies will host family Earth Day events Friday at Hallam Lake from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Families that walk, ride bicycles or take the bus to ACES will be eligible for a raffle of various doodads. Events will include pond-dipping to search for aquatic insects, planting willows and a reading by Spellbinders. The resident snake, turtle and birds of prey will also be displayed.

ACES’ sister outdoor center, Rock Bottom Ranch in the midvalley, will host a family events on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The volunteer work day will include clearing pastures and possibly planting and caring for native plants.

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