LAFAYETTE -- The eighth annual Earth Day Festival in Lafayette is revving its engines for a glorious four-hour eco-celebration that starts with a "self-propelled parade" at 11 a.m.
There will be face painting, bicycle seat and tire adjustments, e-waste collecting, chicken education (how to keep them) and hordes of environmental issues to jawbone over. An outdoor lunch featuring food sold by local vendors will be available throughout the afternoon.
For entertainment, there's a youth-filled "battle of the bands," a Contra Costa Children's Chorus appearance and a concert by Stevie Coyle, guitar wiz and owner of the city's recent addition, Mighty Fine Guitars.
And if that's not enough, there's garbage. Specifically, it is a screening of "Garbage! The Revolution Starts at Home," a one-hour film showing in the Arts and Science room, just steps from where the festival takes place at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center.
Filmmaker Andrew Nisker invited a Toronto family, the McDonalds, to collect three-months worth of garbage. Then he filmed it. It's a kind of green horror flick, but instead of people leaving the theater shaking with fear, the film's website claims more than 3,000 departing viewers have joined an odyssey of inspired, forward-thinking, save-the-earth activists.
"My goal is for people to start thinking about the garbage they create themselves," Nisker said, in an interview on MTV Live. "And in that way, to help reduce the impact their lifestyle has on the environment."
Sustainable Lafayette, the library, the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and the City of Lafayette,are hosts and organizers of the event. Steve Richard, Sustainable Lafayette's co-founder and president, said a special "no waste zone" display will show how the city plans to reach its 75 percent waste diversion rate.
"Sustainable Lafayette's big new initiative this year is to launch a citywide recycling campaign to help the city reach that goal," he wrote in an email.
To reach the landmark position (when 75 percent of the total waste stream will be recycled, instead of sent to a landfill), Richard said the city will turn to children and families for help. A contingent of Girl Scouts from local troops will have a major presence at the festival; presenting waste diversion ideas as residents make public their commitment to reducing waste by inscribing individual promises on a Pledge Wall.
A highlight of Earth Day is always the "Environmental Awards of Excellence," known unofficially as the "City of Lafayette Green Awards." Four categories herald the remarkable achievements, sometimes in the most humble manner, of residents, schools, community organizations and local businesses.
The 2012 residential awardees are Brad Crane, whose biking exploits are legion, and Beth Ferree and John Eaton.
For more information about the annual celebration and going green in Lafayette, please visit www.sustainablelafayette.org