We randomly grabbed a participant in Reno’s Earth Day celebration on May 1 for this week’s 15 minutes. Isleen Asha [LeeAnn Malone] is a member of the well-known Reno belly dancing troupe, Asha World Dancers. This nonprofit, folkloric/fusion-style dance company formed in 1997. Malone recently took a hiatus from the belly dancing group and joined the Peace Corps to work in a program in Botswana, returning to Reno in 2009. The program gave assistance to HIV positive, pregnant mothers to prevent transmission of the disease in-vitro. Asha World Dancers can be reached at 848-7203.
How long have you been celebrating Earth Day?
Oh dear, since the first time they brought it back in the early ’80s, I’ve been coming to Idlewild. I love the energy and the people that come to it. I love to see the new ideas that come out of it from the water management to solar power and everything in between.
Do you recycle?
Absolutely. Everything I possibly can. I don’t have recycling right now at my condos so I have to take everything to TMCC [Truckee Meadows Community College] where I work, so I recycle it up there. And Asha World Dancers, we perform today in recycled costumes that are all made out of curtains and sheets and napkins.
What things do you think people need to do more frequently to help the Earth?
Well, I think they just need to be more aware. I don’t think that the word gets out there as much as it could—for recycling, for how we power our cars and how much more we could ride bikes and all those types of things.
What changes do you want to see to save the planet?
I want to get recycling at my condominiums. That’s the first one. I would love to see other countries adopt a lot of what we’re putting into effect. I lived in Southern Africa, actually for two and a half years, and they’re still burning their trash and throwing things around, and so I’d love to see some of those water bottles made out of corn in production over there. Yeah, just a different way of recycling trash over there, as well.
Should we celebrate Earth day more than once, so it’ll spread the “Go Green” act more?
Absolutely! Let’s do it once a month! No, everyday! [Her friend Holly Johnson chimed in: “In fact I have a bumper sticker on the back of my car ‘Reduce, reuse before you recycle.’ So if you have that mentality before you throw anything out, just think about planning your ride, planning your day. So, if you have your errands, do your north-end errands in one day and your south-end errands in one day. Yes, just planning. Also getting rid of the garbage and the recycled plastic bags. There’s some really cool bags at Savers and Goodwill that you can use for your grocery bags. I’m called the bag lady at Scolaris because I always bring in these crazy big bags I put my groceries in.”]
What “Go Green” methods do you practice?
I keep my heat very, very low. I don’t use my air conditioner in the summertime. I use my car as little as possible, I recycle as much as I can.
What message do you want to send to RN&R readers about Earth Day?
Reduce, reuse, before you recycle!