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It's easy being green on Earth Day

This is the first year for the bike ride, which had drawn about 25 participants as of the weekend. Steubing hopes for more people to take part in future years, but she's encouraged by the numbers.

"Each one of these things makes a small impact," she said.

Growing and eating local food is another step that can pay off, she said. "Gardens are a great thing -- anything that encourages relocalization so we're not transporting food from thousands of miles away."

That's why she supports the movement to keep chickens and hens inside city limits, and she was excited about a career fair at Albany High School that taught students about career options in farming. The fair spotlighted more than growing crops and breeding animals; it showed how job choices like repairing tractors fit into the big picture.

Steubing is part of the Capital District Transition Network, which is focused on transitioning away from oil dependency. She encouraged people who want more information to visit the group's website at cdtransition.net or to email her at ssteub@gamil.com.

Meanwhile, Five Rivers Center in Delmar is having an Earth Day festival on Saturday, April 23. An event organizer said the focus is not on handing out pamphlets and fact sheets, but on putting a fun spin on ways to "be kind and good to the earth."

There will be a couple of hybrid cars on display, and kids can make a craft using recycled paper. There will be a presentation on invasive species, and people who order plants from the DEC's nursery in Saratoga Springs can save on shipping by picking them up at Five Rivers, which serves as a drop-off point.

Not far up the road, Thacher Nature Center in Voorheesville will sponsor "earth friendly creative fun" from 10 a.m. to noon. For $3, attendees can make an earth-friendly reusable tote bag and watch two short films, "The Story of Stuff" and "The Story of Cap and Trade."

The Guilderland Public Library will celebrate Earth Day on Friday, April 22, at 6 p.m. All kids will receive a tree counter to record items recycled throughout the week, and they'll play a recycling game, learn about recycling and listen to the book "We Are Extremely Very Good Recyclers.""

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