Saturday is Earth Day and there are plenty of ways for you to celebrate throughout the entire weekend.
1. First up is the March for Science
Part of a larger, global movement to support and defend all things science, the Austin March for Science will begin around noon at the Texas State Capitol and end at the Earth Day ATX Festival. You can learn more about how to participate here>>
2. The Earth Day ATX festival is on Saturday, April 22nd from noon to 7pm at Huston-Tillotson University.
The festival is the largest sustainability event in Central Texas and will feature an endless number of activities (all of which you can explore here), but for the sake of time, we’ve highlighted a few below:
- Town Hall Meeting featuring local elected officials
- Electric bike demo rides
- A Fix-It Clinic
- Solar car races
- Cooking demonstrations
- Film screenings
- A mobile science lab
- Fitness classes
- And so much more!
Other key themes of this year’s Earth Day ATX include:
Civics – Several activities will be aimed at increasing civic engagement in Austin, including:
- A Civics 101 Talk (delivered by the Austin EcoNetwork’s own Amy Stansbury) at 1pm at the Discovery Stage
- Town Hall on Earth and Science – The town hall (beginning at 1:30pm at the Earth Day Feature Stage, King-Seabrook Chapel at Huston-Tillotson University) will feature a discussion with elected officials, as well as with members of the local science, education, and justice communities
- Civic Engagement Expo – Right outside of the Town Hall on Earth and Science (and in the chapel foyer) there will be a Civic Engagement Expo. Local environmental nonprofits and activist organizations will be sharing information on how the public can get involved in their campaigns.
- Video Showcase – At the end of each video showcase on gardening/trees, kids and science, climate, biodiversity, and water there will be an opportunity for nonprofit and grassroots groups working on that topic to introduce their organizations and invite people to get involved in their mission.
Kid-Friendly – Earth Day ATX will also feature tons of kid-friendly activities, including hands-on science experiments, an imagination playground, and kids yoga. You can learn more about the Earth Day kids zone here>>
Transportation – Another feature of the festival is the “Transportation Pavilion,” which will show attendees how to add walking, biking, transit, car sharing, ride sharing, carpooling or vanpooling to your daily commute. The new Capital Metro Earth Day Graffiti Bus will also be on display. Anyone who makes a pledge to cut carbon emissions by taking alternative means of transportation at least one day per week will actually get to write their promise on the bus.
Speaking of transportation… The festival will likely be crowded, so the event organizers are asking everyone to consider walking, biking, or taking public transit to get there. Cap Metro bus routes that service the area will be running more frequently and the MetroRail will start running at 10am. There will also be plenty of bike parking, as well as a bike valet station.
Austin B-cycle will also have a pop-up station at Huston-Tillotson University and will be offering free rides to anyone participating in the March for Science or Earth Day ATX. If you’re participating in the March for Science, all you need to do in enter the code “422” at any station for a free 24-hour pass. If you’re headed to Earth Day ATX, simply type the promo code “EarthDay2017” into the Austin B-cycle app for a free-24 hour pass!
3. Participate in the Austin EcoNetwork’s job and mentorship fairs
Austin is a great place to live and work. It’s the home of several major universities. It’s quickly becoming a technology hub. It’s got an entrepreneurial spirit and an artistic soul. But sometimes, it can be hard to find your place in it all. That’s why the Austin EcoNetwork is proud to announce that we’ll be hosting the “Eco + Civics Mentorship Fair” at this year’s Earth Day ATX festival. Students, young professionals, and community members alike can start signing up today for one-on-one mentorship sessions with some of our city’s most impactful leaders, including:
- SaulPaul – A Musician With A Message, Austinite of the Year Award-Winner
- Amy Smith – Chief of Staff for Austin City Council Member Leslie Pool
- Kevin Goradia – CEO of Crux Climbing Center
- Asher Price – Environmental and State Agencies Reporter with the Austin American-Statesman
- And many, many more! You can look through the full list of mentors and start signing up for sessions here>>
And if you’re on the job hunt, the Austin EcoNetwork will also be hosting a “Job and Internship Fair” within the Earth Day ATX festival. Simply look for booths with a “Now Hiring” sign. You can also look through our entire list of green job and internship openings in Austin with our online jobs board.
4. Support Austin’s local zero waste economy and affordable housing initiatives by shopping at the Austin Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
In case you’ve never been, the ReStore resells donated building materials, furniture, appliances, and fixtures in working condition (both new and used) from remodeling jobs, business closeouts, contractors, builders, garage sales, and individuals. Not only does the ReStore prevent all of these items from being thrown into the landfill, but it also contributes 87 cents of every dollar in revenue to Austin Habitat for Humanity’s other programs. Plus, they’ll be running a 25 percent off sale throughout the entire weekend in honor of Earth Day.
5. Enjoy the great outdoors by visiting one of Austin’s many parks.
If you’d like to enjoy the great outdoors with great friends by your side, check out one of the many hikes or outdoor activities going on throughout the upcoming week on our EcoCalendar.
6. Make a behavioral change.
The City of Austin’s Office of Sustainability has put together a great list of resources with tips and ideas for you to reduce your personal carbon footprint. They run the gamut from pledging not to buy plastic water bottles to purchasing solar panels for your roof, so that everyone from an eco-newbie to a seasoned environmental leader can participate. You can check them out here>>
7. Get involved
While Earth Day is definitely about appreciating and loving the planet, it goes way beyond that – to encouraging action. The idea is to actually get involved and make a difference, both for the planet and for the people living within it. It’s up to you to decide how you’d like to participate, but a good place to start is by simply getting involved with a local environmental nonprofit organization. Lucky for you, Austin is home to dozens of those, including: