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Earth Friendly: Celebrate America Recycles Day in downtown Victoria

Nov. 10, 2011 at 5:10 a.m.

Meridith Byrd

By Meridith ByrdIt's that time of year again. Yes, I know the holidays are just around the corner, but I am talking about the 14th annual America Recycles Day on Nov. 15.

Created in 1997 by the National Recycling Coalition, America Recycles Day is celebrated in communities across the country with recycling drives, composting classes, contests and other activities. The Coastal Bend is no exception to the festivities, with Cuero High School's America Recycles Day carnival and plastic bag collection drive, the Keep Cuero Beautiful neighborhood cleanup and the Keep Bay City Beautiful Household Hazardous Waste collection.

Last year, the city's Environmental Services department held a workplace recycling contest to celebrate the occasion, and this year, Marie Lester, the city's Environmental Programs Coordinator, has devised a scavenger hunt to highlight downtown businesses and promote America Recycles Day.

Lester got the idea for a scavenger hunt after participating in a similar "great green race" at a conference she attended. "I have wanted to do one downtown ever since," she explains, "but had to wait for the construction to end." She recruited 28 downtown Victoria businesses to participate in the scavenger hunt, which runs Nov. 14-19. Each business has an activity associated with the hunt, from making recycled art, to viewing a rainwater harvest system, to learning about different businesses' efforts to go green.

To enter the contest, participants must complete 10 of the 28 scavenger hunt activities and have them checked off by staff of the respective businesses. The first 50 people to turn in a completed brochure will receive a recycling bin filled with "green" prizes. Brochures can be turned in at the city of Victoria Environmental Services Department at 700 Main Center, Suite 113 by Nov. 25.

The contest ends with an EcoParty at the Nave Museum from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19, where participants can also turn in their completed brochures. Admission to the Nave is free for the party and celebrants can enjoy free hot dogs and hamburgers, games and crafts.

The scavenger hunt is open to kids and adults, so grab a brochure and get started. You can download the scavenger hunt brochure at victoriatx.org/environmental/recycling.asp or pick one up around town or pick one up from Hastings, Starbucks or a participating business. Contact the city's Environmental Services Department at 361-485-3230 or cmlester@victoriatx.org for more information.

Participating locations:

Beijing Garden

Bill's Bikes

Charlene's

Children's Discovery Museum

Days Gone Bye

First Victoria Downtown

Fossati's Delicatessen

Golden Gecko

Greek's 205

Habitat ReStore

Hiller House

Lauren Bade

Leo J. Welder Center

Longleaf Coffee

Nave Museum

Rosebud Fountain and Grill

Santa Rosa Pottery

Split Endz Salon

Taqueria mi Familia

Texas Zoo

U.S. Post Office Downtown

Victoria Advocate

Victoria City Hall

Victoria Coffee Roasters

Victoria Public Library

Wells Fargo Downtown

Woodhouse Day Spa

Yummy Handbags

Meridith Byrd is a marine biologist and invites read ers to contact her at meridith.byrd@gmail.com.

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