The Power of Local Community: Oxford’s EarthFest

By: Caroline Roethlisberger

On Saturday, families, students and Oxford residents gathered in Uptown Park to celebrate EarthFest. While browsing the educational booths presented by Miami and Oxford green group, visitors could learn more about how to pursue a more sustainable lifestyle and how they impact the earth.

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At the event, high school students shared their knowledge on how to reuse food scraps and grow them into new plants, members from Oxford Seniors presented about environmentally friendly sunscreens, the Oxford Gourd and Drum Ensemble creatively reused bottles and cans to make music and EcoReps engaged visitors with their bike-powered smoothie machine. Other groups presented about community service opportunities and how to live waste free.

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Joan Potter-Sommer from Oxford Senior

On surface level, EarthFest seems like a great opportunity to learn something new and celebrate the planet, but it was much more than that.

EarthFest brought people together to celebrate sustainability, not just on a global level, but in our own community. It was an opportunity for residents and students to explore ways to improve the community through tangible learning experiences and personal interaction with the people behind the organizations already working towards sustainability in Oxford.

It demonstrated the power of local communities to take action towards a common goal, not just through the power of organizations and institutions, but on an individual level. It’s hard to believe that a one-day event could change the world, but, by personally engaging individual community members, EarthFest could help visitors recognize their own power to reduce their environmental impact. By working together, the environmentally conscious Oxford residents can augment their individual impact on the community.

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Oxford’s new composting program that began in early April is a manifestation of this mentality. The idea is simple. People collect food waste in buckets and dispose of it at the dump site. Before this program, people could compost on their own, but the initiative of the city created an opportunity for community involvement. Not only is it easy to do, but it gives new life to reusable kitchen waste.

Pretty soon, composting will become second nature– just like putting your trash out to the curb, and I am excited to see what creative and innovative sustainable solutions the Oxford can come up with. After witnessing the passion of the community at EarthFest, I am hopeful that the planet is in capable and caring hands, at least at our local level.

Photos by Caroline Roethlisberger


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