Everyone loves a great party with tasty food, fun games, and good people. April is the official month of parties to celebrate our Earth. Over 20 million Americans took part in the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. The first Earth Day event launched the Earth Day Network (earthday.org) which today works with over 22,000 partner organizations in 192 countries to “broaden, diversify and mobilize the environmental movement.”
This year, more than one billion people around the world will participate in Earth Day activities throughout the month of April. The official international Earth Day date is April 22nd but many organizations will celebrate Earth Week or Earth Month to get people excited about all issues that concern our environment from human health impacts, creating green jobs and investments, or promoting clean air and water.
Here in Dallas there are several ways to join the Earth Day party and learn simple to complex things you can do to support our environment. There are several festival’s throughout the area such as Oak Cliff Earth Day held April 12, 2015, noon-5pm at the historical Lake Cliff Park and Cedar Hill Earth Day on April 20, 5-7:30pm.
The big event in the area that is expected to draw about 70,000 people is Earth Day Texas (earthdaytx.org) held at Fair Park April 24-26th. Live music and good food gives the event a festival feel but the big draw is the over 1100 exhibit spaces full of activities related to the Earth. Companies, organizations, schools, nonprofits, government agencies and more will be sharing their green stories and teaching others how to live in a more sustainable way. Jillian Mock, Communications Associate with Earth Day Texas, described the activities as, “A lot of initiatives people will want to come out and see, for example, NASA is bringing out a special exhibit that is going to showcase their international space station program, The National Parks is kicking off their Centennial Year of 2016 at Earth Day Texas 2015 with an enormous presence and a lot of fun things for families to do Friday, Saturday and Sunday.” To view the entire schedule for this FREE event visit earthdaytx.org.
Can’t make it out to an event?
Here are three ideas to get you and your family involved in the celebration and learn some ways to tread lightly on our environment.
- Footprint Calculator – Complete a fun interactive quiz online to find out your ecological footprint based on how many resources you use everyday. Answering questions about your lifestyle such as where you live, how you wash your dishes and how far you drive, will show how sustainable you are currently living. After completing the footprint calculator on earthday.org/footprint-calculator I found that if everyone in the world lived the same way I lived my life, we would need 3.5 more Earth’s to support our resource needs. Yikes!
- Organize your own neighborhood clean up event. Gather a small group of friends and head out for a few hours to pick up trash in your neighborhood parks, creeks, or sidewalks. Not only does litter look bad, it is harmful to wildlife and water quality. Don’t let litter breed more litter, break the cycle by inspiring others to keep our city clean.
- Curb your waste. Think about things before you throw them out or recycle. Is there a better way? Host a clothing exchange in your neighborhood or sell your stuff online on one of the many Facebook Yard Sale sites. Receive a lot of junk mail? Use the free app PaperKarma to get rid of unwanted mail. Visit yellowpagesoptout.com to stop receiving a phone book at your doorstep every year. Opt out of free plastic water bottles at meals and events by always carrying a reusable water bottle with you.
It doesn’t matter what side of the spectrum you are on from not knowing the first thing about being green to living in a growing green trend tiny house, there is something for everyone to learn about during the month of April. Just remember, April may be the time to get excited about the Earth and environment, but use the parties to drive your motivation throughout the year.