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Earth Day highlights environmental efforts on Camp Pendleton

Earth Day events across Camp Pendleton ignited eco-friendly attitudes as members of the base community celebrated the international environmental effort’s 40th anniversary, April 22.

Camp Pendleton celebrated the global event with large static displays, a base-wide coloring contest for children and tours of the base recycling center - the largest within the Department of Defense.

“As a fighting force, we recognize the interdependence of our mission with the environment and communities in which we operate, both at home and abroad,” said Gen. James T. Conway, commandant, U.S. Marine Corps, in his 2010 Earth Day message released earlier this month. “We must treat the land, sea and airspace in which we live, work, train, and operate in a sustainable fashion in order to support our military mission and allow future generations to receive the same benefits from our planet that we currently enjoy.”

Base energy, environmental and recycling officials all set up visual displays in front of base’s Country Store to encourage awareness and promote involvement in the special day.

“Participation in Earth Day activities raises individual awareness regarding our environmental impact and highlights the many ways that the Marine Corps safeguards the Earth and its resources while still accomplishing our military mission,” said Anthony L. Hudson, senior manager, Inspection and Compliance Division, Assistant Chief of Staff Environmental Security, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

The base’s environmental office also hosted an Earth Day coloring contest for nearly 2,000 children throughout the Camp Pendleton community. Winning artwork was displayed at the base’s Mainside Earth Day event.

Children from the base were even encouraged to recycle in a unique way at one local school.

Hundreds of elementary school students made extravagant hats from items commonly thrown in the trash, and wore them for their first Earth Day Recycled Hat Parade.

“We held our Earth Day Recycled Hat Parade to show the children how important protecting our environment is and how much fun it can be,” said Rhonda Stoiloff, librarian and event judge, North Terrace Elementary School, Oceanside. “Teaching children to recycle at a young age will instill values they will take with them their entire life.”

Teachers and faculty judged the wacky creations and awarded the most creative designs.

The elementary school affair was just one of the many Camp Pendleton Earth Day events that encourage everyone to preserve and protect the environment.

“Protecting the earth starts with you, the individual Marine, sailor, or family member,” said Hudson.

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