Green Apple Festivals will kick off Earth Day in major U.S. cities | KEYE Austin - Green Right Now Austin News, Weather, Traffic KEYE-TV Austin - HOME
Apr 132009

By Sommer Saadi
Green Right Now

Do not underestimate the excitement of Earth Day. Trust us. There is a lot to look forward to this year – the Green Apple Festival and Earth Day Network are making sure of it.

The two organizations have teamed up to put together the largest Earth Day festival in America. The event will take place April 17 to 19 (the weekend before the official Earth Day on April 22) and features simultaneous service events in 10 major cities across the nation including New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Austin, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.

Volunteers who help out over the weekend will be given a green gift bag and tickets to attend a free “Thank You” concert in their city. And of course, the national flagship festival “Earth Day on the National Mall” will take over in Washington, D.C. The free festival is open to volunteers and the public and will feature performances and speakers throughout the day.

The “Thank You” concerts serve as a great incentive for rolling up your sleeves and making a meaningful contribution to the planet (check out the line-up below).  But just as motivating is the opportunity to be a part of some really creative and significant projects:

  • Like finding out why you should have a worm in your apartment. The Lower East Side Ecology Center of New York City is teaching people how to deal with their smelly trashcan problem by keeping Red Wiggler worms handy. You learn how the Red Wiggler rapidly eats kitchen scraps and turns waste into fertilizer, and then learn how to set up and maintain a worm bin in your own crib and use the compost for feeding plants.
  • Or discovering why it’s important that everyone aim for energy efficiency. In Austin, you can help retrofit a house for a family in need. The organization 1 House at a Time is teaching volunteers first-hand about home energy efficiency as they install water and energy conserving fixtures and appliances.
  • You could even try to atone for your addiction to oil. Builders and bird enthusiasts are being recruited in San Francisco to help construct a cage, shed and rehabilitation pond for oiled birds in recovery at the International Bird Rescue Research Center.

Across all 10 cities there are opportunities to work in parks, beaches, schools and forests and focus on lasting climate change solutions, but you have to sign up to participate, and you have to sign up soon. Volunteers have until Tuesday, April 14 at 11:30 p.m. to register for a service project in their area. The events are listed on the Green Apple Festival site and from there a link takes you to the PlanetGreen website to sign up.

If you don’t live in one of these 10 cities, don’t worry. You can visit Planet Green’s Green Guide to Volunteering to make your own Earth Day plans.

You can also use the EDN green event locator.

Thank You Concert Lineup

Atlanta, GA – Funk and jazz band Galactic & Friends with opener country singer Victoria George at Variety Playhouse.

Austin, TX – Grammy Award-winning Country star Travis Tritt & Friends at Antone’s (note: this one’s on Monday April 20).

Boston, MA – The funk/jazz trio Soulive & Friends at Paradise Rock Club.

Chicago, IL – Alt-rock favorite Cracker & Friends at The Metro.

Denver, CO – Funk band Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk & Friends at Cervante’s Masterpiece.

Los Angeles, CA – The Hotel Cafe Presents indie rock singer-songwriter Cary Brothers & Friends at The Roxy.

New York City – The Soul legend from the James Brown Band Deep Banana Blackout featuring Fred Wesley & Friends at Bowery Ballroom.

San Francisco, CA – BassNectar & Friends at Slim’s.

Seattle, WA – Hip-Hop group The Blue Scholars & Friends at The Crocodile.

Washington, DC – Artists to perform on the National Mall have not yet been announced (it’s all about the suspense).

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