Magic in Arkansas

Using Magic to show children that throwing away recyclables is like throwing away money (photo by Northwest Arkansas Times)

Using Magic to show children that throwing away recyclables is like throwing away money (photo by Northwest Arkansas Times)

A small dream came true last week as I had the privilege of serving as spokeswizard for a great environmental program.   TheEnvironmental Affairs & Recycling Office of Washington County, Arkansas, brought me to local schools to assist in recycling education efforts during the middle of November.   During the week I performed 15 shows for more than 2,000 school children, teachers, administrators and citizens.   While most shows were in schools, I also performed in the gleaming Fayetteville Public Library(rated one of the best in the nation), in the Farmers’ Market, and for school administrators.   The basic message is simple:   everyone has the same power as a wizard to transform the old into the new by using their magic box….their recycling bin.

While I was hired to help Washington County Arkansas deliver the vital message about its recycling program, I was also delighted to receive so much information about and ideas from its environmental efforts.    It hosts a special waste collection site that accepts household hazardous wastes like batteries, electronics and chemicals 5-6 days each week.  This is a rare gem of convenience since most drop-offs operate less frequently.   The Environmental Affairs & Recycling Office also works closely with schools throughout rural Washington County to set up and run school recycling programs.

An additional bit of magic came to me from the very audiences I was hired to educate and entertain.   Most of the children for whom I performed had never seen a magician, let alone an environmental magician.  As such they were especially receptive to the “Recycling is Magic” show.   They enjoyed the story of how a wizard saves a town by transforming all that was trashed by an army of ogres into the new and useful.  The warmth of their “thank you” and the sincerity of the many hugs I received were the finest gifts a wizard can receive.

And the magic continues.    Conversations with hazwaste professionals in Arkansas revived those I had more than a year ago with their counterparts here in Connecticut.   A show about household hazardous waste seems like a great addition to those shows I already have on recycling, energy, water and open space.   Kids need to hear the message right along with their parents.   And a spokeswizard may just be the right person to deliver that message.    My pen was busy on my flight back home…a show is taking shape already.  If you are interested in such a show on household hazardous waste, or would like to offer comment on my draft, let me know.   The best magic is that we create together.

One thought on “Magic in Arkansas

  1. Delighted to learn about your spoke wizardry in Arkansas, CJ. Nice that you endeared yourself to both the adults and children, as you helped to empower all as recyclers. Here’s hoping your message (by magic) takes further flight in CT this coming year!

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