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4/14/2009 Houston, TX-- Wonder how many trees can be saved if each family buys one roll of recycled tissue paper just once? The answer will be unveiled on April 19th.

In celebration of Earth Day on April 22th, Tzu Chi Foundation Southern Region will hold an Earth Day forum and environmental education exhibit on Sunday April 19th between 09:00 A.M. and 02:00 P.M.

More than 20 years ago, Drama Master Cheng Yen, in a public speech in Taiwan, asked the audiences to use their applauding palms to recycle. Since then the environment protection footprints have followed to places where Tzu Chi people have reached. In Houston, the footprints began 8 years ago with a few young volunteers and 4 trash cans placed on the east side of the center courtyard of the Tzu Chi office. Today, a recycle station is situated in the back of Tzu Chi building with 2 containers and several bins to manage the increased community involvement from the neighborhood.

The economic downturn did not turn off the passion of Tzu Chi environment volunteers. On the contrary, the recent urge "to lead a simple life is blessing" from Master Cheng Yen has prompted the volunteers to ask why we have so many recyclables. Although recycle is a good thing and we shall continue to do it, the key is how we can live green as much as possible at the origin of a product cycle and our soul. In this 2-hour informal forum (10 ~ 12), we have speakers and volunteers share their thoughts and experiences. The topics include the following:

- Industry expert on the current economic downturns and its impact on recycle business
- Veteran recycle business owner on potential opportunities to further recycle effort in Tzu Chi
- Alief High School Green Squad on participation in community environmental initiatives
- Tzu Chi volunteers on Reduce, Reuse & Rec! ycle
- Q&A

In addition to the forum, there is an mini environment education exhibit in our recycle station and garage sale in our parking lot. We welcome community members to join us on this Earth Day event, learn a few tips and begin to lead a simple and sustainable lifestyle