HAMMONTON - This Sunday's sixth annual Hammonton Green Day Festival has gone from being a Richard Stockton College student's idea to an event that draws more than 60 vendors and 700 participants from all over South Jersey and Philadelphia.

More than six years ago, student and Hammonton resident Nick Bradford approached elected officials about adopting an ordinance pledging to reduce the town's carbon footprint, Councilman Dan Bachalis said. From that action grew the Green Committee and its festival, Bachalis said.

The committee's mission is to educate residents about living with more environmental sensitivity, by driving less and biking more, shopping locally, recycling more and being smart about energy and water use at home.

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It also runs educational workshops several times a year, collaborates with the Eagle Theatre on a quarterly Eye Opening Film and Lecture Series, and offers a Halloween costume exchange in October, Bachalis said. Hammonton photographer Susan Gietka is a former Green Committee president, as is Bachalis. The committee is currently led by resident Susan Coan.

The Green Day Festival on the grounds of St. Joseph High School on Sunday will cap off a weekend of environmental activities in town.

There are two big events Saturday: A community-wide yard sale at homes throughout town from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and the Hammonton Education Foundation's Recycling Central from 9 a.m. to noon at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Festival Grounds on Third Street, providing an opportunity to shred papers and recycle electronics, cell phones and other items that aren't normally recyclable.

For about three years, the community yard sale and Recycling Central have happened on the same weekend as the festival, expanding the impact of all events, Bachalis said.

The independent political party Hammonton First will participate in the community yard sale, and will accept donated items this week at its headquarters at 129 Bellevue Ave. to be sold Saturday to benefit the Disabled American Veterans Chapter in Hammonton. Donations are accepted from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. through Sept. 13, a representative said.

Residents can securely shred up to three, 33-gallon trash bags of paper for a $20 donation at Recycling Central. Call Marie Campanella at 609-561-5029.

Also at Recycling Central, the Lions Club will collect eyeglasses, hearing aids, ink and toner cartridges and crayons; Hammonton High School Green Earth Club will accept cell phones for refurbishing; and Goodwill will accept used computers, printers, scanners and computer equipment for a $10 donation.

Coan said there will be 60 vendors and exhibitors at Sunday's festival, including the Hammonton Mother's Club with a Lego Exchange table; Clemenson's Farms Native Nursery in Estell Manor, with wildlife-friendly plants; South Jersey Beekeepers doing education; Atlantic Cape Community College with a cooking demonstration; the Philadelphia Zoo with some of its animals; and a farm-to-table exhibit called Farm Explorers, run by Greener Partners of Malvern, Pa., which has a traveling garden and demonstrates the local foods concepts.

Casciano Coffee Bar & Sweetery will start a Jazzy Sunday Brunch series from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, with 25 percent off drinks for patrons who bring their own reuseable mug or cup.

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If you go

Hammonton Community Yard Sale, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Maps at Central and Bellevue after 8:30 a.m. The Woman's Civic Club will accept leftover clothing, linens and soft toys in closed plastic bags at the club at Broadway and Liberty Street.

Hammonton Education Foundation's Recycling Central at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Society, Third and French streets, 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. Visit hefonline.org or call Carol Orsi at 561-7012 or Mary Gillespie at 561-8585.

Sixth annual Hammonton Green Day Festival, noon to 4 p.m. Sunday on the grounds of St. Joseph High School, 328 Vine St. Celebration of the "green" and sustainable life, with 60 vendors and nonprofit organizations. Live musical entertainment by Robin Gazzara. Bike donations accepted for refurbishing for needy families.

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