The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Bureau of Waste Management was looking for a unique way to promote recycling on April 22, the 38th anniversary of Earth Day. They didn’t have to look far.
Kansan and environmental artist Stan Herd agreed to create an environmental awareness collage using 20,000 pieces of artwork submitted as entries in the agency’s “Kansas – Don’t Spoil It” calendar contest.
The artwork was submitted over several years by Kansas students from kindergarten through 12th grade. One entry from each grade level has been featured on each month of the official “Kansas – Don’t Spoil It” calendar during the last decade.
Herd, whose past creations have been primarily outdoors, used that artwork to create a unique work of art of his own on the 80- by 110-foot Topeka Roadrunners ice rink at Landon Arena of the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka.
Lt. Governor Mark Parkinson, KDHE Secretary Roderick L. Bremby and Herd officially dedicated the artwork Thursday morning at arena on Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22.
“Recycling is important, and it’s something all Kansans can do to help maintain a healthy environment,” said Bremby. “As we celebrate Earth Day, I challenge all Kansans to become more environmentally friendly and strive to make it Earth Day everyday.”
As Herd worked to complete the collage, a time-lapse video camera recorded every movement and a video of him creating it was posted to YouTube.
Herd is renowned for his commitment to environmental stewardship. He created a crop art project north of Wichita that was used on a “Get Caught Recycling!” poster to help KDHE kickoff that project in 2005. Herd also promoted recycling with a 12-day run in 2006.
KDHE is also launching a new Web site on Earth Day to raise awareness of the growing concern with electronic waste disposal in Kansas and throughout the world. The site provides guidelines about how and what e-waste can be recycled, as well as a growing list of public and private e-waste collectors and processors in Kansas. The site is located at www.ksewaste.org.
There are five things every Kansan can do to have an immediate impact on the environment:
1. Recycle everything you can. Find recycling centers near you by
visiting the Kansas Recycling Directory at www.kansasbirp.com/centerdirectory.asp.
2. Cut back on disposables. Bring your own mug to your local coffee
house. You could get a discount, and it’s one less disposable cup that will end up in a landfill. Save money and cut back on the 860 million water bottles that are thrown away each week by investing in a reusable water bottle. Switch to reusable cups and dishes at home and work too.
3. Say no to plastic bags. Americans throw away 100 billion plastic bags a year. Next time you shop, opt for a reusable bag. You can purchase these at your local grocery store for around $1. You will reduce pollution and save energy. The amount of oil it takes to make just 14 plastic bags would run your car for one mile. For more information on the plastic bag issue, visit www.ReusableBags.com.
4. Save water. Run the dishwasher and washing machine only when they are full. Take shorter showers and consider investing in a low flow showerhead. You'll save fossil fuels by using less hot water and reduce your utility bills too.
5. Start a Green Team at your school or work. Visit the Kansas Green
Teams Web site at: www.kansasgreenteams.org.