Earth Day Marked With Phone Books, Sweaters, Bus Rides

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CLARKS SUMMIT -- Earth Day has become synonymous with cleanup projects or planting a tree, but some organizations in Lackawanna County decided to celebrate earth day in a different way.

Anything can become a game for a group of first graders. A group from Clarks Summit Elementary found plenty of amusement tossing phone books into a borough DPW truck heading for the Lackawanna County recycling center.

After all, to this generation, phone books are essentially obsolete. So, the school made its Earth Day phone book collection into a contest. First grader Joseph Kott won it for his class, bringing in 386 on his own.

"386 phone-books! How long did that take you?

"A long time!" Joseph said.

"Where did you get them all?"

"From a lot of people!"

About 2,000 phone books total were sent to the recycling center.

Miss Vogel's class wins bragging rights for the next school year, but the real point of this wasn't lost on these kids

"Because then they won't go in the dump and that's like wasting, and that kind of makes the earth even badder," said first grader Ella Marjanovic.

Elsewhere in Clarks Summit a group of adults made the world a little brighter with some recycled materials. Using yarn mostly from old sweaters, a group of artists and business owners dressed up parking meters on State Street. It's called "Yarn Storm" and though it was put together for Earth Day, organizers said the recycled sweaters will stay for a while.

"It just adds color. It adds life. It draws attention, and what we're trying to do is liven up this town," said Mari Walker of Duffy's Coffee House.

In downtown Scranton, it's less about recycling, more about conserving. The County of Lackawanna Transit System offered free bus rides to people all day.

The COLTS free ride program was started on Earth Day several years ago. Its goal was to influence people to reduce their carbon footprint by riding the bus instead of driving their cars.

"Beautiful day, enjoy the weather, enjoy the sunshine, and have a day out instead of being cooped up in the house," said Donna Horton of Scranton.

At the very least, riders got to enjoy the outdoors on the day dedicated to it.