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Earth Day expo highlights products, practices to help go green

Justin O. Mitchell, Fort Rucker deputy garrison commander, looks on last year as children from the Fort Rucker Elementary School water freshly planted trees they planted in celebration of Earth Day. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Justin O. Mitchell, Fort Rucker deputy garrison commander, looks on last year as children from the Fort Rucker Elementary School water freshly planted trees they planted in celebration of Earth Day. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Published: April 10, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (April 10, 2014) -- April 22 will mark the 44th annual celebration of Earth Day, with the Army keeping its focus on sustaining the mission to secure the future.

In recognition of Earth Day, the Fort Rucker Environmental and Natural Resources Division will host an Earth Day Expo April 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the festival fields.

The expo will address environmental sustainability, pollution prevention, natural resources and energy conservation, while featuring environmentally friendly living with demonstrations and exhibits promoting eco-conscious consumer behavior, said Darrell Hager, environmental protection specialist.

It is open to the public and is free to attend.

“All exhibitors are showing their wide range of environmentally friendly operation supplies,” he said. “Some of the supplies featured will be (lidded, plastic food storage containers), batteries, lighting, spill control, household cleaners and insect repellant. Some exhibitors will be geared for industrial purposes while others will be for daily office and household purposes.”

There will be an assortment of more than 20 exhibitors at the event, including representatives from Auburn University, the Boy Scouts, Army and Air Force Exchange Service and Alabama Power.

The Tesla S electric car will make an appearance, as well, and there will be a few child activities to keep children entertained while parents take a look at the booths.

“This event will show the local community new technologies that are out there that can help them in their home as well as at work that are not damaging to the planet,” said Melissa Lowlavar, environmental management branch chief. “It will be very informative and fun.”

In conjunction with the expo, there will be an E-cycling event where people can bring their old electronics to be recycled responsibly.

Some of the items accepted are cell phones, computers, television sets, wires and cables. Some items that will not be accepted are white goods, such as dryers, refrigerators and microwaves.

ENRD hopes to reach a large audience from the Fort Rucker and surrounding communities to spread awareness of environmental issues.

“Sustainability is very important. We have an ever-increasing population on Earth, and we only have a finite amount of resources. Someday, the amount of resources and the demand for those resources is going to be at a deadly level,” said Hager.

Hager said that people need to manage those resources wisely, so they are not depleted for future generations.

“Green and sustainable materials are key to pushing that day of demand as far back as possible,” he continued.

Using green materials is also much safer at home with pets, children and people with health issues, said the environmental protection specialist.

“For the most part, green and sustainable home cleaners are much better for the infrastructure of the home itself. Green materials are not as abrasive or destructive to carpet and tile as some of harsher chemicals,” he said.

There are 300 million people who have homes in this country alone, but if everyone does their part, said Hager, local environments can be a safer and cleaner place to call home.

This article was originally published at

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