Awareness, creativity mark environment festival

ENCINITAS — The city held its fourth annual Environment Day festival at Cottonwood Creek Park on June 6. Activists and educators, entertainers and residents gathered for an afternoon of thoughtful discussion and fun centered on the themes of awareness and conservation.
In conjunction with the United Nations World Environment Day, the event showcased simple measures each household could take in the effort to preserve the world’s natural resources.
Merchants and local organizations were also on hand to support the organizer’s efforts to bring environmental awareness to the public. The Solana Center for Environmental Innovation sponsored a recycled-paper-making booth while films were shown that spoke to the issues of food supply and waste reduction.
In response to the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf Coast, Marsha Lindsey, Encinitas resident and community volunteer, began collecting human and animal hair for use in booms to absorb the toxic materials that are now reaching the shores of Alabama and Louisiana.
“Human hair and other natural fibers are more absorbent than the petroleum-derived materials for the booms they are using in the Gulf,” Lindsey said. Her Extensions of Love booth featured information about the oil spill.
Volunteers were treated to free haircuts by Lindsey and a professional hair designer on site. Donations also came from others who brought in their own hair clippings or fur from their household pets. “Even the dog can help with this huge problem,” said Penny Lansling, an Oceanside resident who stopped by the booth for information. “I’m not getting a haircut today but I’ll
definitely bring in my pet’s hair.”
“Boom building” parties have started up along the Gulf Coast using natural fibers rather than petroleum derived materials according to Lindsey. “Mainly we want to send an extension of love to the Gulf Coast. We want them to know we have our eyes open and want to show that we’re here to support them in any way we can,” she said.
The effort is ongoing Lindsey said. Detour Salon in downtown Encinitas will serve as a drop-off location for human and pet hair. “This issue is not going to be easily swept under the rug. It’s environmentally detrimental,” she said.
Another hot topic — urban gardening — was discussed after the free screening of “Homegrown Revolution.” The award-winning filmmakers and subjects of the short documentary were on hand to discuss their family’s efforts to convert a small parcel of land around their Pasadena home into a garden that sustains their dietary needs.
Jules Dervaes said he was stirred to action primarily by the commodification of food. “My garden, as I saw it, had become my Alamo,” he told the crowd. The “hippy who became hip” slowly began turning his water hungry lawn into an edible garden in the mid 1990s.
Since 2001 the family, often referred to as “the urban-dwelling eco-pioneers,” have been growing most of their own food. On their one-fifth acre residential lot they have grown more than 400 varieties of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers — with enough left over to run an award-winning green business selling fresh organic produce to local restaurants and caterers.
“Don’t look for others to change,” Dervaes said. “You have to start with you.”

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