Earth Day celebration recognizes city's environmental leadership in Chigago

11:27, April 23, 2010      

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Chicagoans gathered Thursday at Daley Plaza to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, which is dedicated to enhancing awareness and appreciation for the earth's environment.

The 2010 Chicago Earth Day Celebration, hosted by the Chicago Department of Environment (CDOE), in partnership with the Chicago Climate Action Plan (CCAP) team, brought together hundreds of students, businesses, policymakers and a theatre group to celebrate the city's commitment to tackling climate change.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley awarded local students with educational scholarships. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood and Suzanne Malec-McKenna, commissioner at Chicago Department of Environment, also attended the event, which recognizes Chicago's environmental leadership.

The celebration started at 11:00 a.m. featuring about 20 booths which showcased various partners of Chicago's Climate Action Plan.

Chicago residents enjoyed the rare opportunity to explore Chicago Transit Authority's new Ecobus and other clean city vehicles. After visiting Chicago Climate Action Plan partner booths, they also learned about simple actions that can reduce their carbon footprint and lessen their paper use.

In the middle of the booths, three boxes in large, medium and small sizes attracted lots of attention. They were all covered by various pieces of newspapers and magazines and were on display to promote the Chicago 2010 Neighborhood Paper Drive.

"We focus on paper initiatives. Currently we are launching a Chicago neighborhood paper recycling drive for communities to apply for paper recycle bins in their neighborhood," Leigh Peters, an environmental engineer at Chicago Department of Environment, told Xinhua.

"People can win prizes for collecting paper for recycling. Research found that paper is the highest component of waste. By recycling paper, it will bring serious gains for our Chicago Climate Action goals," she said.

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