June 20, 2024

Knoxville’s EarthFest attendees celebrate a milestone anniversary

Attendees learned more about green policies and organizations that aid in protecting the environment while at Knoxville’s EarthFest.

To celebrate and recognize Earth Day, EarthFest organizers held their annual all-day festival on April 20. Though the event concluded early due to rain, vendors still set up tables and booths at the Knoxville Botanical Gardens

Beginning in 1999, EarthFest is one of Knoxville’s major Earth Day events. This year’s theme, “20/20 Vision,” is a play on their 20-year anniversary. Organizers demonstrated Knoxville’s practices throughout EarthFest’s 20 years of service. Additionally, they addressed the future improvements for the upcoming years.

“We are hoping to bring local leaders, small businesses and corporations to share their vision or their products that will help 2020 look greener,” the EarthFest website states. 

In light of the 20/20 Vision theme, EarthFest encouraged attendees to bring their used sunglasses or regular glasses to be recycled or reused.

The nonprofit funding organization behind EarthFest is the Tennessee Valley Earth Partnership (TVEP), a Knoxville-based organization. Additionally, TVEP is a match for supporting EarthFest because it focuses on environmental education and protection, too.

Throughout the day, booths and activities kept visitors occupied. Some of the activities included youth area crafts, recycled art show, paper making, yoga, chiropractic health screenings and more.

Local nonprofits also set up booths at this event. Their goal was to help shape the government’s green policy. Federal and state governments both have permits, limitations and protections in place for environmental elements. For example, they protect air quality, water quality and waste management, along with various other threats and concerns. The local nonprofits also strived to take initiative with implementing more green into our own daily lives.

Additionally, there were no worries about going hungry because of the food trucks at the event from local vendors. 

Kaitlin Desselle, director of Douglas J Aveda Institute, was present at this event as well. The institute makes efforts to protect the environment through their practices. They use organic materials in their products. They also state on their website that their products are manufactured with 100 percent wind power. In addition to these efforts, the institute has raised $32 million since 1999 for clean water worldwide. 

This was Desselle’s second year attending the event. She loves coming to EarthFest to support and inform people about the eco-friendly beauty salon.

“Our products are 98 percent plant derived,” Desselle said. “And specifically during earth month, we have a lot of initiatives to stand up for clean water.”

Their local philanthropy is the Tennessee Clean Water Network. However, they work with EarthFest to try to strengthen our ecosystem and stand up for the Earth.

Applications to become a vendor or volunteer at the next EarthFest are located online.


Edited by Ciera Noe and Lauren Claxton 

Featured image by OiMax, courtesy of Creative Commons