WESTFIELD, NJ — Following last year’s Earth Day festivities that extended throughout the month of April, the Westfield Green Team was anticipating an even more elaborate set of events this month.

Then coronavirus happened and the Green Team reformulated the plans, Kirti Malik, a volunteer with the Green Team and the principal organizer of its Earth Day initiatives said. The pandemic got worse and organizers had to again reformulate, Malik said.

“Even since we started planning this two weeks ago, things we have planned such as scavenger hunts are obviously off the table,” Malik told TAPinto Westfield. “So things have gone 100% digital. We’re confining it to things people can do right on their block or at their homes.”

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The Green Team is encouraging residents to express their enthusiasm for the environment for while staying safe and maintaining social distance guidelines, Malik said.

These are some activities to look out for, she said:

1. Climate Ribbon Project. Residents are invited to make and hang ribbons with their hopes and wishes for climate change and put outside their houses/trees/poles until the community can get together and hang them in a communal place.

“The Climate Ribbon is an arts ritual to grieve what each of us stands to lose to climate chaos, and affirm our solidarity as we unite to fight against it,” a website on the project says.

In Westfield, the Green Team is encouraging residents to get the kids involved, make multiple ribbons from old, used shirts or sheets and hang them in a big cluster, take a picture and then post it on Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag #mywestfieldnjclimateribbon.

Expect lots of video from the Green Team.

2. For the kids. The public can look out for broadcasts from the Green Team detailing fun, green oriented activities for children. 

3. For the adults. The Green Team will be promoting a digital “watch parties” for climate documentaries that are streaming for free during April.

4. For everyone. The Green Team will be releasing instructional “green” videos during entire month. Topics may include how to be green while social distancing, including videos on spring gardening, vermicomposting (it involves worms), mending jeans, making homemade granola bars, researching electric vehicles, cleaning up neighborhoods when going for walks and building a mason bee house.

“It’s challenging,” Malik said on Thursday. “But we, hopefully, came up with enough ideas for things that are engaging for both kids and for adults.”

As for those happenings that were planned to happen in April but aren’t? Malik said those events, including an electric vehicle and bike show, and are anticipated to happen in September. But why delay everything?

“Let’s celebrate now while social distancing and also get together in September and have a big Earth Day at that point,” Malik said “So far everyone who has signed on for April has indicated that they are looking forward to being able to participate in September.”

Email Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net | Twitter: @MattKadosh

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