Earth Day at in Encino was a colorful event Monday, as students participated in a fashion show wearing self-designed clothes made out of all-recycled materials.
It was the brainchild of parents who wanted a creative way to distinguish the day, which was designed to educate kids and adults both about the importance of honoring the earth, explained Jill Donaty, whose daughter Catty is in second grade.
“A fashion show seemed like a fun idea,” she said, “with the emphasis on outfits created totally out of recycled or repurposed material. When we proposed the idea, there was a real fervor for it, especially among the girls.”
Was that fervor triggered more by earth day consciousness, or getting to be in a fashion show?
“Fashion show,” she answered with a laugh.
The Earth Day fashion show is one of countless creative programs launched at Lanai, all of which are run by parents. “We think of ideas that are educational— such as this—they learn what is truly recyclable and what isn’t. My daughter learned a lot, and taught me too, about what can be recycled and what can’t. But they are also fun ideas, ideas the students enjoy so much they learn while having fun.”
Before the fashion show began, students had the opportunity to see something few of them had ever seen before: an electric car. Nissan had brought two to the school, and parked them in the field, where the kids were invited to check them out. The kids were mostly astounded by the prospect of a car that didn’t need any gas, and were as eager to ask questions about it as the adults present.
“How fast can it go?” (upp to 90 mph).
“How long does it take to charge?” they asked. With a big charger, about 6 hours. A smaller charger takes about 12 hours. In time, the hope is that gas stations will become charging stations.
“Does it use any gas at all?” No, none.
“How about oil?” No, no oil either. This is clean energy.
As interested as the kids were about this new model of alternative energy, they were more excited about seeing how many bodies it could hold, as lots of them crowded in like it was a clown car.
After the electric car demonstration, the fashion show began as mostly girls (and a few boys) proudly promenaded along the green path to show off amazing outfits concocted from bubble wrap, newspaper, cans, bottles, plastic shoes and more. Onlookers were delighted, and each fashion model was met by an enthused entourage of friends who flocked around each as they emerged.
Though certain winners were chosen, from the looks of pride and joy on the faces of all involved and those in the audience, everyone at Lanai Elementary was a winner on this Earth Day.