Is Your Pencil Smart?
by Martha Blume
Which of the following are part of your daily after-school routine?
- Run home from school.
- Grab your milk and cookies.
- Take your pencil in hand and start your homework.
- Save a rainforest.
Save a rainforest, you say? I dont do that every day.
Are you sure?
Take a good look at your pencil. If it says Dixon Ticonderoga next to the number 2, then saving rainforests is part of your daily routine. Dixon Ticonderoga, a U.S.-based manufacturer of wood products, now makes its pencils of SmartWood-certified lumber.
SmartWood-certified means that an organization called the Rainforest Alliance gave its seal of approval to the forest in Malaysia or South America or wherever your pencil began as a big old cedar or pulai tree.
To be SmartWood-certified means that the management and harvesting operations must meet strict environmental standards. They must also protect the rights and living conditions of workers and local communities.
How can you know if youre buying SmartWood? So far, pencil manufacturers are not displaying the SmartWood seal because, they say, you havent told them you care one way or the other. Tensie Whelan, executive director of Rainforest Alliance, says use your Dixon Ticonderoga to write to the company and let them know you appreciate what theyre doing and that you want them to label their certified products.
Why is the label important? Because it lets customers know that they can make a difference with their buying power. If you dont believe that matters, ask Home Depot and Lowes why they started stocking SmartWood on their shelves last year (Bay Weekly, Vol. IX, No. 15).
Are you on the side of rainforests? Write Dixon Ticonderoga at 195 International Parkway,
Heathrow, FL 32746 or email at email@example.com.
To learn more: www.rainforest-alliance.org/ or www.smartwood.org/.
Friday, October 4
Today is the first day of Fright Fest at Six Flags America. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until November 3 the park is open w/Halloween festivities abounding. F 5pm, SSu Noon (except Oct. 5, 5pm) @ the park in Largo. $35.99 + tax: 301/249-1500.
Saturday, October 5
Autumn is Alive
It is the 19th annual Fall Festival at Homestead Gardens. Come out to enjoy hay rides, pony rides, meet the Oriole bird at noon today and more. Every weekend through October 20. 11am @ Homestead Gardens, Davidsonville: 410/798-5000.
Sunday, October 6
Fall Family Day
Visit Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum for its first annual fall Family Day, w/music by Tom Wisner, magician Pat Nutte and storyteller Charlotte Smutko, who will tell ghost stories in the 100-year-old railway car. 1pm @ the museum: 410/257-3892.
Come have fun at the Annual Fall Festival at the new Kids Carnival with hay rides, a moon bounce, face painting, games, prizes and delicious treats. 2-6pm @ St. James Episcopal Church in Lothian, north of Rt. 258. $15 adults, $6 ages 12 and under: 410/867-2838.
Sunday, October 7
Join the Anne Arundel Public Library for storytime. This is great for preschoolers and includes picture books, flannel board stories and watching a finger play. 7pm @ Eastport-Annapolis Neck public library: 410/222-1770.