Saturday I headed to downtown Raleigh with the kidlets in hopes of enjoying the Planet Earth Celebration before the rain came. Little did I know “the rain” would become a tornado later that afternoon but I told that story yesterday if you’re interested.
Ahem. Back to my story. Daddy Roo was at work that afternoon (gotta hate those deadlines) so I braved a public event with two kids ON MY OWN. [insert patting my own back here]
That’s why I thought it was fitting that the tagline for the event said “RESPECT YOUR MOTHER.” They meant Earth but really, it was also a subliminal message to my kids.
Raleigh’s Planet Earth Celebration was put on by Burt’s Bees (I know you’re jealous because they’re local) and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (which if you’ll remember, Big Roo had his critterific birthday party there two days he got a baby brother for his birthday).
Before I get to the “urban tumbleweed” bowling, Cardboard Kingdom and the Trash March, I really have to tell you that there was an entire tent full of Burt’s Bees stuff that was up to 80 percent off. Isn’t that crazy? Judging by the line we saw (can’t see it in the picture), I’m guess most people thought it was crazy good too.
The Planet Earth Celebration was all about teaching both adults and kids about sustainability. What better way than to blend up smoothies just from pedaling a bike? Or to make art out of trash?
The festival included lots of vendors, from sustainable construction companies to GROW (Greater Raleigh Outdoors and Wildlife). Big Roo was, of course, interested in “doing stuff.” First off? Tumbleweed bowling.
Urban tumbleweed to be exact. What are urban tumbleweeds? Plastic bags. More than 11,000 plastic bags are used in the U.S. every second. Isn’t that nuts?
So, a lady from the museum has been working on this ball for over three years! Big Roo was so psyched to bowl. This kid knows strikes, split strikes and spares from his adventures on Wii bowling and our plastic bowling set. And guess what? He got a STRIIIIKE!
After tearing him away from watching others try to get a strike, we headed down to something he found equally as cool.
This three-building kingdom (with tunnels to get from one to another) was built by the ever-awesome Paperhand Puppet Intervention. I first saw their work on our trip to Saxapahaw last year. Made of cardboard boxes, this was every kid’s dream. I mean, how could a plain ole refrigerator box complete with this?! Even Little Roo got in on the action.
Again, I had to tear Big Roo away, which meant chasing him through the tunnels with Little Roo tucked under my arm. Luckily I managed to wrestle him outta there just in time to walk down the street and see this:
I mean, look at the Roo faces. Mesmerized! And with good reason. The Trash March was full of costumes, noise and lots of puppets! People wore trash-turned-art and my favorite was the Chinese-dragon-style “puppet” made of things like styrofoam containers.
All in all, the boys and I had a rockin’ good time at the Planet Earth Celebration. Not only was it fun, but Big Roo could digest the its meaning in little chunks. We had a chat about littering, about plastic bags and things like that. The celebration made it easy to teach him these things. I was totally impressed. My only regret was that I didn’t get to explore even more. That’s what next year’s for, right?
Disclosure: I was given a boat load of cool Burt’s Bees goodies but was asking for nothing in return. However, this event was so freakin’ awesome that they must’ve known I couldn’t resist writing about it.