Earth Day Action Expo invites community for recycling events, education, exhibitors, food, and fun

It’s springtime, which means the flowers are blooming and the grass is turning from brown to green. It also means Earth Day is coming up! It’s a way to celebrate the Earth and all it provides for us. Later this month, a local annual event invites families for education, demos, exhibits, experiments, food trucks, prizes, and more. The Midland Section of the American Chemical Society hosts the Earth Day Action Expo on Saturday, April 27 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at H.H. Dow High School.

Gina Malczewski is a retired Dow Corning Corporation employee, and has multiple volunteer roles with the Midland Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS). Part of her duties include outreach, and helping plan events throughout the year, including one of their largest ones, the Earth Day Action Expo. 

Malczewski says the Midland Section of ACS has been hosting the Earth Day Action Expo since the 2000s, at different venues including Midland Center for the Arts and Creative 360 over the years. In 2021, the event moved to H.H. Dow Green, in partnership with Dow High Go Green. She’s been involved in the event since 2008, and has seen it grow over the last few years. 

Earth Day was established in 1970, and Malczewski says the local ACS chapter has always been very active in Midland. 

“We’re recognized on the national level for being one of the most active sections out of the 185 that are in the ACS national organization,” she says.

Community members gather for Earth Day celebration.

This year’s event already has over 60 exhibitors, food trucks, educational activities, and electric vehicles on-site for folks to explore. The venue includes inside and outside portions, and requires many volunteers, including local high school students. 

“The mission is to increase public awareness about the situation regarding climate change and all the things that we as individuals can do to improve our own environmental stewardship, and to promote activities like ‘reduce, reuse, recycle.’”

The 2024 Expo’s theme is ‘get a charge out of chemistry,’ focusing on energy storage. “Cyndie Roberts at Dow High Go Green has a lot of community contacts, in terms of conservation oriented groups. That expanded the number of people that we’ve been able to reach. Every year since we’ve done it at Dow High, it’s gotten bigger and bigger.”

Malczewski says working with Cyndie Roberts at the high school has been a great partnership venue and relationship. “She has a tremendous personal commitment to reduce, reuse, recycle. She’s a wonderful role model, and it’s been great for us working with her. I can’t say enough about her participation and the support that we’ve gotten from Dow High Go Green in general, it’s been wonderful.”

The expo includes family activities, and sees guests ranging from preschool students to grandparents. Typically, the expo draws 300-400 visitors. This year’s activities include electronics recycling, 3-D printing, bicycle inspections, food trucks, and hands-on science experiments. There’s also food scrap sustainable cooking demos, textile labs, an electronic vehicle car show, story times with Grace A. Dow Memorial Library, a poetry exhibit, and more. 

“We’re trying to have something for everyone, no matter your age group, education level is, or interest in the environment is,” Malczewski says

Other timely events include a Battery Blast! talk with two speakers and a dinner on Tuesday, April 30 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Creative 360. This free event is open to the public, and includes a free meal and prizes. There’s also a tour of the Freudenberg XALT Battery Facility on Saginaw Road on May 8 from 3:30 to 4:30. This is limited to 10 randomly selected guests. Registration to participate in the lottery is available online

To sign up to volunteer for the expo event, visit this registration link. Positions include set-up, check-in, recycling stations, floaters, tear-down, and more. 

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Read more articles by Sarah Spohn.

Sarah Spohn is a Lansing native, but every day finds a new interesting person, place, or thing in towns all over Michigan, leaving her truly smitten with the mitten. She received her degrees in journalism and professional communications and provides coverage for various publications locally, regionally, and nationally — writing stories on small businesses, arts and culture, dining, community, and anything Michigan-made. You can find her in a record shop, a local concert, or eating one too many desserts at a bakery. If by chance, she’s not at any of those places, you can contact her at