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Crowds come out to celebrate Earth

About 4,500 people attend event
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Jack Hertel passed out cups of apple juice to people who visited his booth at the City of Roseville’s Celebrate the Earth event last Saturday. Hertel, of Foothill Organic Growers, extolled the health virtues of ginger — which he adds to his juice — and organic fruits and vegetables to anyone who would listen. He calls his advice Organic Jack’s Health Care Program. “The last five years have been explosive for organic produce,” Hertel said. “People understand that they will live better and healthier lives, and prevent illness if they eat organic.” Hertel was one of 85 vendors at this year’s Celebrate the Earth festival, held at Mahany Regional Park. This year’s event commemorated the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. The event drew about 4,500 people, said Bob Garrison, director of the Utility Exploration Center. Last year’s celebration attracted 3,000 attendees. “It’s a great turn out,” Hertel said. The family-friendly event featured six themed zones: Empowering Our Community, Live Waste-Free, Be Water Wise, Green the Urban Water Environment, Let’s Eat Local and Travel Green. The zones offered information on energy efficiency, bike commuting, reducing consumption, saving money on utility bills and other tips for living a sustainable lifestyle. Roseville Electric representatives told people who visited their booth about rebates for energy-efficiency upgrades. Interior designer Marie Brown displayed furniture made from recycled materials and talked to people about green remodeling. Nortech Gold Compost touted the benefits of composting yard waste, and the city’s Environmental Utilities Department offered tips for water-saving measures for the home. The Roseville Urban Forest Foundation was there to promote tree programs, and PlacerGrown sold herb plants. The nonprofit organization reCREATE taught children how to make butterflies using salvaged materials donated by local businesses. Several times throughout the day, “Dr. Solar” delighted children with his traveling old-time magic show. Dressed in a top hat and suit, he called himself “the pioneer of solar living.” He told the audience about living in the 1860s, when solar electricity was first discovered. “Back in my day, we didn’t rely on oil for our energy, let alone foreign oil,” Dr. Solar said to the audience of about 40 kids and adults. The sun’s energy is renewable, he said, and doesn’t require the use of power plants that pollute the air. He also suggested that people recycle batteries and carry canvas bags with them to the grocery store. “It’s a small gesture,” he said. “But my great, great grandchildren will thank you.” Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com.