Women for Kansas offers crafts for Earth Day


Members of Women for Kansas plan to share a green craft with children attending next month’s Earth Day celebration at the Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo. On Sunday, members practiced making reusable beeswax wraps.

“They replace single-use plastic like Saran film or Glad film,” said Pam Martin of Barton County’s Women for Kansas chapter.

Several businesses and groups will have booths at Great Bend’s Earth Day celebration on April 23. Hosts for this event are the Zoo, Rosewood ECycle and Great Bend Dairy Queen.

The Kansas women will have a craft table inside the zoo’s Raptor Center, Martin said. From the age of 5, children can decorate pieces of muslin which will be coated with a mixture of beeswax. Families can use wrappers to cover bowls or plates of food, or to wrap fruit, cheese, sandwiches and other food items.

“Using beeswax wraps reduces the use of single-use plastic wrappers and making them yourself is a fun and fairly simple family activity,” Martin said.

Plastic wrap is convenient but costly for the environment, she noted.

“It’s a huge problem, impacting all ecosystems,” Martin said. “Disposable plastics such as straws, bags and water bottles never fully degrade, becoming microplastics. Studies conducted in 2020 on human cadavers found microplastics in their organs.”

The chapter received a grant from the Women for Kansas Education Foundation to purchase supplies for the Earth Day celebration. Women for Kansas was founded in Wichita as a grassroots group that transcends political, racial, cultural and economic boundaries. Martin explained why the Barton County Chapter chose to participate in the Earth Day celebration:

“Protecting our environment from preventable degradation and depletion of our natural resources is one of 11 legislative goals set by Women for Kansas,” she said. “Barton County Chapter members have chosen to work on this goal, along with others, and reducing the use of single-use plastics definitely meets that goal.”

Several other organizations have joined in the local back-and-forth celebration, which takes place one day after the official 52nd anniversary of Earth Day. Smoky Hills PBS is incorporating its Family Fun Day into the event and will be bringing a special PBS character to meet and mingle with the kids. Also participating in the event are the Kansas Wetlands Education Center, Heartland Farms and the Rosewood Aktion Club, as well as the hosts.


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