Celebrate Mother Earth

Photo Credit: Katrina Funtanilla

Earth Day is celebrated every year worldwide on April 22 to help increase understanding and appreciation of the Earth’s natural environment. The name and concept was first adopted by John McConnell and first experimented in San Francisco in 1970. What was originally started in the United States quickly spread internationally. People all around the world are helping to make Earth a better and cleaner place. So can you! Earth Day is filled with free activities and freebies. Here is a list of activities going on in Austin for this year’s celebration.

Austin Earth Day Festival  - April 22, noon to 6 p.m., 4550 Mueller Blvd.
Check out this one-day festival going on at The Historic Browning Hangar at Mueller. Events and attractions include speakers, exhibits, food trailers and a talking tree. Don’t miss the inspiring interactive “Za Boom Ba” drumming experience, and then participate in an aerial photo of attendees spelling out "Austin Beyond Coal." There will also be chances to win some sweet prizes in the raffle drawings.

Keep Austin Beautiful: Lady Bird Lake Cleanup – April 22, Lady Bird Lake
KAB will lead a team of volunteers to clean up the cherished Lady Bird Lake and trail.  This area is a favorite destination for thousands of Austinites and volunteers are needed to help keep it beautiful. Fill out an application at www.keepaustinbeautiful.org

Picnic for the Planet – April 21, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Whole Foods Market 525 N. Lamar
Whole Foods is hosting its second annual Picnic for the Planet sponsored by The Nature Conservancy. This event is attempting to set the record for most people picnicking in 24 hours. It’s simple to participate. Grab some food, join others on the Plaza and celebrate the great outdoors. This year’s event includes a “Trashion” fashion show, live music, custom “picnic” dinners and chances to win a gourmet picnic basket!

Earth Day on Shoal Creek – April 22, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Shoal Creek
Bring out those cleanup clothes and join Austin Parks Foundation and friends for a little TLC on Shoal Creek. Shoal Creek Trail is looking for volunteers to help with the cleanup. Go to Austin Parks Foundation website to RSVP (http://www.austinparks.org/). Make sure you wear closed-toed shoes, long pants and appropriate clothing for the weather.

Earth Day Freebies
Who doesn’t love a free giveaway? Visit Pottery Barn Kids at Barton Creek Mall to receive a free packet of sunflower seeds courtesy of PBK and National Geographic. Also, the Disney Store at Lakeline Mall is giving away a free reusable shopping bag for every five plastic shopping bags you bring into the store. This giveaway is first come first serve, while supplies last. Origins will trade you your current skincare products, full or empty, for one of their full sized origins cleanser. All you have to do is go to their website, fill out a form and bring in your empty bottle.

Do your part to make a difference this Earth Day. Go sign up to help cleanup, attend events, snag some freebies and have a blast! You can also celebrate Earth Day everyday by recycling on a regular basis, turning off the lights when you’re not home and reusing grocery bags as trash bags, just to name a few.