Earth Day Texas drew thousands of people, visiting with speakers and exhibitors from around the country. Two large exhibit halls at Fair Park were packed with over 1,100 exhibitors and numerous speakers inspiring and educating people to think about our human impact on the environment.
The addition of a third day proved beneficial for Earth Day Texas. Friday was packed with school children of all ages enthusiastically participating in every exhibitor activity. Students rushed to design their version of a future Fair Park with ReImagine Fair Park, dug into a huge sand pit with UPS, jumped inside a solar race car with Shine Runners Racing and stood in a long line just to get a chance to view tiny house living in Big Dallas.
“Two really great things happened with the addition of Friday,” Jillian Mock, communications associate for Earth Day Texas, said. “One was the school field trips, which completely exceeded my expectations. The other thing was the original purpose of ‘Business Friday,’ to engage businesses around a sustainability conversation and I think we definitely achieved that with the Future 500 round table. They had a major conference from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the park on Friday, and brought in high level sustainability officers who have a stake in thinking about how sustainability relates to the environment.”
Impressive speaker lineups spoke on stages set up throughout the halls allowing people to drop in on talks and debates focusing on how to move all industries and people into a sustainable future. Joe Quinlan, Chief Market Strategist of U.S. Trust spoke passionately about investing in companies to support the environment and reminded us that one of the biggest problems facing our world is water. Quinlan said, “The problem with water is we think it’s free.”
Screenings of the impactful documentary “Racing Extinction,” from director Louie Psihoyos, who also directed “The Cove,” showed throughout the weekend at Music Hall. After the film, audience members had a chance to chat with the filmmakers and stars of the movie such as Nascar driver Leilani Munter. Munter took to the Dallas streets this weekend projecting images from the roof of an electric Tesla Model S onto iconic Dallas buildings, just as they did in the movie. Munter, inspired to get involved in environmentalism after watching “The Cove,” said, “It took my activism from first gear into insane mode.”
Earth Day Texas drew a diverse crowd of business leaders, politicians, families, students and everyone in between. Mock emphasized the importance of how each person found their own take home message like “What can I do?” “What about this is relevant to me?” “How can I play some kind of role small or large in sustainability?”
Earth Day Texas has plans beyond this one yearly event. “We definitely want to start having a year-round presence,” Mock said, “so you know every day is Earth day. We are hoping to start some monthly events. Stay tuned because we are hoping to keep these conversations going throughout the year.”
In just five years, Earth Day Texas has grown a trademark event to encourage our city and country to push towards a sustainable future. Expect Trammel S. Crow, the founder and underwriter of Earth Day Texas, to be involved in pushing that future. It’s been a challenge for Crow. He wrote in his recent Dallas Morning News editorial, “But these days, if Kermit the Frog thinks it isn’t easy being green, try being a green Republican.”
As seen in the Katy Trail Weekly.