Collier and Lee Counties Edition
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Plastic Wars

Celebrate Earth Day Locally and Globally

On April 22, people from all over the country will gather in their respective communities to discuss and advance efforts to save our planet. With the theme End Plastic Pollution, Earth Day Network (EDN) is setting this year’s focus on the importance of reducing the use of plastics and finding more Earth-friendly alternatives (

The nonprofit contends that of the approximately 300 million tons of plastic annually produced to make bags, bottles, packages and other commodities worldwide, only about 10 percent is successfully recycled and reused. The rest ends up in landfills or as litter, leaching dangerous chemicals into soil and water, endangering humans and wildlife alike.

EDN is asking everyone to pledge to switch to sustainable alternatives, subscribe to its newsletter, spread the word via social media, educate and mobilize citizens to demand action. The organization is also accepting donations to support the adoption of a framework to regulate plastic pollution that will engage individuals, companies and governments worldwide.

Further, EDN is allowing individuals to take responsibility for their actions by self-rating and guiding their involvement via practical toolkits. “People can create and follow a plan to reduce their plastic footprint and share that data to help others via the Billion Acts of Green online campaign,” says Valeria Merino, vice president of Global Earth Day, adding that participants will be able to create an ongoing record and track their commitments. The initiative is also providing materials, tips on organizing cleanup events and social media tie-ins.

Help Southwest Florida celebrate and forward progress in sustainability efforts by participating in these local Earth Day 2018 events.

Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens – Party for the Planet

10 a.m. to 3 p.m., April 7

One of more than 100 U.S. accredited zoos and aquariums participating in North America’s largest combined Earth Day celebration, the Naples Zoo will host conservation groups and local businesses that will discuss living more sustainably. Guests can enjoy education stations, free Earth-friendly gifts from participating partners and a giveaway of 5,000 native sapling trees.

Free to Collier County residents. Location: 1590 Goodlette Rd., Naples. For more information, call 239-262-5409 or visit

Pre-Hurricane Season Roundup

8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., April 14

Collier County Solid and Hazardous Waste Management will accept hazardous household chemicals, rechargeable batteries, paints, used motor oil, tires, fluorescent bulbs, ink cartridges, cardboard, plastics #1-7, mercury-containing devices, aluminum electronics, ballasts and medical sharps and needles for disposal. Also, free tire recycling will be available, along with auto and home products and devices for recycling; free paper shredding by Adera On-Site Security Shredding; and clothing, shoes and books collected by Goodwill Industries for resale.

Six Collier County locations: Naples Recycling Drop-off Center, 2640 Corporate Flight Dr., Naples; North Collier Recycling Drop-off Center, 9950 Goodlette Rd. N., Naples; Marco Island Recycling Drop-off Center, 990 Chalmer Dr., Marco Island; Hazardous Materials Collection Center, 3728 White Lake Blvd., Naples; Collier County Fairgrounds, 751 39th Ave., NE, Naples; Immokalee Transfer Station, 700 Stockade Rd., Immokalee. For more information, call 239-252-7575.

Earth Day Re-Use and Recycle Roundup

9 a.m. to 4 p.m., April 19

Goodwill Southwest Florida will celebrate Earth Day by encouraging residents to bring gently used clothing, shoes and books, electronics, household items, computers and cell phones to donate. Also, free shredding of documents is offered by Goodwill Secure Shred. Hazardous household chemicals, rechargeable batteries, paints, used motor oil, tires, fluorescent bulbs, ink cartridges, cardboard, plastics #1-7, mercury containing devices, aluminum electronics, ballasts and medical sharps are also accepted for collection by Collier County Solid Waste Management.

Location: Naples Towne Centre parking lot, 3579 Tamiami Tr. E., Naples. For more information, call 239-252-7575.

Earth Day at the Refuge
J.N. “Ding” Darling
National Wildlife Refuge

7 a.m. to 4 p.m., April 21

Visitors can bike or hike Wildlife Drive for free from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., with free bike rentals provided by Tarpon Bay Explorers. Ongoing Earth-friendly crafts will be offered in the Visitor and Education Center, as well as make-and-take upcycled crafts from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bring a bicycle for the Bike the Refuge Tour at 9:30 a.m. to learn about the refuge’s wildlife and ecology. Visitors can watch Straws, a free film, and take home a free paper straw at 1 p.m., and meet Bagzilla, an incarnate reminder of our plastic addiction. The refuge will celebrate the 48th anniversary of Earth Day in partnership with the Ding Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge.

Location: 1 Wildlife Dr., Sanibel. For more information, call 239-472-1100, ext. 236, or visit

Lee County Great American Cleanup

8 a.m. to 11 a.m., April 21

Keep Lee County Beautiful recruits volunteers, site captains, area managers and local sponsors to foster unity and strengthen bonds through beautification and improvement efforts across the county and is part of the nationwide Great American Cleanup effort. Projects may include community gardens, habitat restoration, invasive plant removal, litter-free events, litter cleanups, landscape maintenance and planting, playground/park equipment restoration and tree plantings.

Location sites and event dates vary. For more information or to register, call 239-334-3488 or visit

Rain Barrel Workshop Native Plant Sale

9 a.m. to 1 p.m., April 21

Choosing native plants for the yard saves time, money and work, as the plants are adapted to our dry winters and hot, rainy summers, plus they attract wildlife. Rain barrels save money and resources by gathering and storing rainwater safely for yard watering. Lee County master gardeners will answer questions at the workshop until 11 a.m.

Free admission. $45 for workshop, includes barrel. Preregistration required. Location: Rotary Park Environmental Center, 5505 Rose Garden Rd., Cape Coral. For more information or to RSVP, call 239-549-4606 or visit

Earth Day
Buy One, Get One Sale

9 a.m. to 4 p.m., April 21

In celebration of Earth Day, the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center will offer buy one, get one free admission.

Cost: $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 6 to 12 and under 6 free. The discount can’t be combined with other offers. Location: 300 Tower Rd., Naples. For more information, call 239-530-5972 or visit

Conservancy of Southwest Florida Earth Day Festival

10 a.m. to 4 p.m., April 21

This festival will include many vendors and environmental exhibitors showcasing fun, educational and entertaining family activities and experiences. Visitors can enjoy live music, festival food, crafts, live animal programs and more. Eat, play and learn while experiencing the Conservancy Nature Center buildings and take an electric boat ride, rent a kayak or canoe or walk a nature trail.

Cost: free for members, $10 adults, $5 children 3 to 12. Location: 1495 Smith Preserve Way, off Goodlette Rd., Naples. For more information, call 239-430-2466 or visit

Earth Day Clean Up

11 a.m. to 1 p.m., April 21

Volunteer to help clean up Eagle Lakes Community Park for Earth Day.  

Location: 11565 Tamiami Tr. E., Naples. For more information or to confirm time, call 239-252-3527.

Justice for #EachGeneration
Earth Day Service

11 a.m., April 22

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greater Naples will celebrate Earth Day with the theme Justice for #EachGeneration. Rev. Bob Murphy, the Earth Day speaker, has been involved with the environmental justice ministry for decades. The event features a play performed by fourth- through sixth-graders called Youth vs. Gov, based on the landmark climate lawsuit, Juliana vs. U.S., brought by Our Children’s Trust. Following the service, visitors can join enjoy a refreshment hour with vegetarian options. Information will be available on volunteer opportunities for an environmental education program Water Wise and Hurricane Strong. In addition, Citizens’ Climate Lobby will explain its Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal and gather Constituent Comment Forms to hand-deliver at the annual Citizens’ Climate International Conference and Lobby Day.

Location: 6340 Napa Woods Way. For more information, visit,

Earth Day Gems – Today’s Essential Oils

Noon to 1 p.m., April 22

Peter Bagwell, dōTERRA wellness advocate and Cross Fit coach, will explain the uniqueness of essential oils and why they are so important. His background in engineering helps him break down quality, safety and sourcing issues in an easy-to-understand manner. Samples and special offers will be available.

Location: I Love Oils, Inc, 17030 Alico Commerce Ct., Ste. 303, Fort Myers. For more information or to register, call 239-362-0385 or visit

Cape Coral Seas The Day For Earth Day

1 to 4 p.m., April 22

The Cape Coral Yacht Club will host local environmental groups sharing information in honor of Earth Day. The event will feature a large children’s crafts area (wristband required) and live entertainment.

Cost: free. $5 for wristbands. Location: 5819 Driftwood Pkwy., Cape Coral. For more information, call 239-574-0806.

Water is Life: Earth Day 2018 Concert

5 p.m., April 22

This Earth Day concert will feature many music genres, styles and performers. Attendees can peruse information tables from leading Southwest Florida conservation organizations and take in a kids’ art showcase.

Cost: free. Location: Cambier Park bandshell, 755 8th Ave. S., downtown Naples. For more information, call 812-345-0230.

Arbor Day Celebration

10 a.m. to 1 p.m., April 28

This event features native plants and trees for sale, demonstrations and exhibits. Enjoy music, a poster contest, giant slide, free trees and more. 

Location: Riverside Park, 10450 Reynolds St., off Old U.S. 41, Bonita Springs. For more information, call 239-949-6262 or visit

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