From hybrids to playground pickup Carson’s youth celebrate Earth Day |

From hybrids to playground pickup Carson’s youth celebrate Earth Day

Andrew Pridgen
Appeal Staff Writer
Photos by Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

As oil crept past $118 a barrel Tuesday, which may send Northern Nevada gas prices on average above the $4-per-gallon mark, Earth Day celebrations finally have come home to roost in the place most Carsonites think about most – their pocketbooks.

Carson Toyota sales representative Tom Connell stood among curious throngs of tire kickers and new hybrid SUVs, hatchbacks and the ever-popular Prius explaining the advantage of his “gas-sipping” cars Tuesday at Western Nevada College.

He didn’t have to say much.

“I think the word is out,” he said. “We can’t get (Priuses) in fast enough. It’s the hot car. And yes, it’s good for the earth – but the gas mileage is what people are looking at.”

But wait, isn’t Northern Nevada truck and SUV country?

“There’s definitely a segment of our population that is buying (hybrid) cars as their second cars. People still drive their trucks,” he said.

“We’re also getting a lot of truck trade-ins,” said Saturn of Reno sales representative Erick Garcia, who brought a Saturn Vue Green Line with him to the campus quad. “People are simply ‘going green’ because it makes sense on so many levels.”

Both salesmen said they were approached by WNC staff – many of whom already own a hybrid.

“A lot of the students said when they shop for a new car, it’s going to be a hybrid,” Connell said. “The professors already have them.

“It’s something you’re going to see more of.”

A slightly younger demographic of Carson City’s student population did their part to clean up their corner of the world Tuesday. Students from Fritsch and Bordewich Bray elementaries, clad in latex gloves and carrying garbage bags, spent the afternoon outside picking up garbage.

Stray cigarette butts, empty bottles, loose wrappers and even the misplaced homework assignment listing in the spring breeze or trapped against a chain link fence were the most oft-collected items.

Six classes of Bordewich Bray first-graders stood in rows wearing custom-colored “Earth Day” visors, running in packs of twos and threes from playground trash item to trash item.

Bordewich first-grade teacher Barb Martin said her students have spent the last three weeks learning about rainforests in preparation for the Earth Day cleanup.

“(The students) are starting to understand that if you destroy one part of the Earth, it’s going to affect where you live,” Martin said. “We’ve done projects and read about the Earth. They’re pretty aware about what’s going on – and curious what’s going to happen when they’re older.”

Bella Kordonowy and Macie Thomas, both 6, who jointly carried one plastic bag around the playground, scooping armfuls of debris while laughing and whispering, said their recent Earth studies have given them new ideas about global ramifications of picking up the playground.

“If we don’t start doing things (differently) now, we’re going to leave trash everywhere when we’re grown up,” Bella said.

“We’re learning how to recycle bottle tops,” Macie said. “That’s not something we were doing before. And every time you (recycle) and not throw it away, it’s good. It’s good for everyone – not just people here.”

Bordewich Bray first grade teacher Kelly Laaker said the school’s year-long effort to recycle printer cartridges as well as plastic bags added heft to recent studies of the Earth.

“I really like to pick up trash and to recycle,” said Gavinn Tablet, 6.

“It feels good to pick up trash,” said Tony Hernandez, 7. “It feels good to be doing something for my school.”

• Contact reporter Andrew Pridgen at or 881-1219.


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