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ECO-Action Held Annual Earth Day Festival to Advance Environmental Justice in Georgia

ATLANTA, GEORGIA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, June 11, 2024 / -- Environmental Community Action, Inc. (ECO-Action) continues to lead in innovating programs and events that empower communities to organize and address environmental health hazards and pollution. The organization recently held two events that aimed to advance environmental and climate justice in Georgia.

ECO-Action presented a training session for community-based organizations that have an environmental mission and held its annual Earth Day Festival focusing on ensuring safe living environments in Georgia’s most vulnerable communities.
The festival drew people from Atlanta’s Summer Hill community and surrounding communities to Phoenix III Park to raise awareness about environmental justice issues, celebrate community, and take advantage of various outreach opportunities. The festival, sponsored by ECO-Action, Saikawa Lab at Emory University, and ike SMART CITY, featured free soil testing by Emory soilSHOP to screen for levels of lead. Soil provided by members of the community was screened for a variety of heavy metals and metalloids, such as lead, zinc, and cadmium. Soil can be a source of exposure to lead, which has serious health impacts for people living in communities with high concentrations of the chemical element.

“Our Earth Day Festival provided an excellent platform for ECO-Action to continue executing its work to address the intersection of three critical areas that bring us to the communities that we help: Threats to human health, environmental degradation, and social justice,” said Carla Lewis, executive director, ECO-Action. “This drives our work to focus on assisting rural residents, people with limited resources, and people having less formal education opportunities.”

The event served a broad purpose for the community. Attendees had access to healthcare professionals and a mobile van that provided free high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, and dental screenings. The goal was to offer health screenings for individuals with increased vulnerability/risk to pre-existing chronic health conditions such as asthma, mental health problems, and obesity-sensitive conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.

Many companies provided in-kind services and goods such as nonperishable food items donated by PepsiCo, Pure Leaf Sweet Tea, Gatorade, Etsy, and local vendors. Earth Breeze, an eco-responsible laundry detergent company, donated laundry sheets to festival attendees. Sheets reduce non-biodegradable plastic containers.

About Environmental Community Action
ECO-Action exists to promote a safe and healthy environment by helping Georgia communities organize to address environmental health hazards and pollution. ECO-Action serves the general population but focuses on vulnerable, low-income communities and communities of color. The organization's mission is to provide organizing and technical assistance so that Georgia's low-income communities and communities of color can empower themselves to eliminate air land and water pollution. They become better able to respond to environmental threats such as global warming and move forward to improve their environmental, social, and economic health and well-being.

Tashion Macon
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