Save the Date! Whole Earth Celebrates 42nd Earth Day-Birthday


On Earth Day 1970, a group of Princeton environmental activists began dreaming up a plan to create a natural foods store in town. Their goal was to give area residents a place to act on environmentally friendly ideas such as buying unprocessed foods with little or no packaging and to create a place where environmental activists could meet to discuss projects and concerns. The store, which opened in October 1970, was structured so that the profits are used to fund environmental projects.

Fast forward 42 years, on Saturday, April 21, the Whole Earth Center will host a party to celebrate the anniversary of its founding and to help kick off Sustainable Princeton’s new organic lawn care project.

The theme of this year’s Earth Day-Birthday celebration is organic lawn care, with a touch of nostalgia. Whole Earth Center is revisiting their 1993 community-wide campaign that encouraged Princeton residents to stop using pesticides on their lawns. That was one successful campaign that resulted in  Princeton Borough, Township, and Regional Schools adopting a resolution to use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in public schools, parks, and buildings.


Pat Hite Signs Pledge: Pat Hite, founder of the Holistic Health Association of Princeton and former Whole Earth board member, signs a pesticide-free pledge on Earth Day 1993


Sustainable Princeton will have a table at the Earth Day-Birthday party from 11AM to 2PM to launch By the Yard, their new campaign to encourage organic lawn care in Princeton. Brian Ruddy and Estuardo Ramirez, co-owners of Verdant Organic Lawns and Landscaping, will be at their table from 11AM to 1PM to answer questions about organic lawn care. Sustainable Princeton will also have a display of their new Green Map project.


Earth Day Window 1994: We designed this window to demonstrate how to make and use compost. We are using these graphics, which were drawn by Matt Venella, a former staff member, again this year

Additional Earth Day-Birthday activities include free garden crafts for kids, a garden plant sale by Mike Brown of Pitspone Farm, a raffle of gift baskets, free tastings of Cherry Grove Farm cheeses and Bent Spoon Ice Cream, and a sale on the 5 bulk items that made up almost the entire inventory on the day the Whole Earth first opened. Linda Geren of High View Farm in North Hanover, NJ, will be selling pulled pork sandwiches and roasted lamb sandwiches made with pasture raised-meat from her farm. There will be live music throughout the day from Mountain View String Band, Glenn Swann, and Anita and the Barncats.

Russell Compost Demo: Gray Russell talks with Whole Earth customers about composting. At the time, Russell was the Compost Project Manager for Bronx Green-Up, the community outreach program at the New York Botanical Garden. At the Botanical Garden he also oversaw the design, construction, and operation of their large-scale composting facility, as well as their home composting educational exhibit and the on-site, in-vessel food waste composter at the Garden's Terrace Café and Restaurant.




Earth Day-Birthday festivities run from 11AM to 4PM. Check the events calendar on the Whole Earth Web site ( for the day’s schedule. Whole Earth is located at 360 Nassau Street, just past the corner with Harrison.

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