Could This Be the Biggest Earth Day Ever?
18th Annual EarthFair - Sunday, April 22
By David Cohen

 

 

This Earth Day marks the year we finally turned the corner on the reality of Climate Change. “An Inconvenient Truth” brought home to the mainstream the power of the science that implicates human causes for shifts in planetary climate. A Zogby poll in August 2006 reported that 74% of Americans most likely to vote say that events over the past two years have left them “more convinced that Global Warming is happening”. Two in five (40%) say they are “much more convinced”. Television, radio and newspapers abound with stories about Global Warming daily, that assume the reality of the condition rather than reporting it only as “a controversy”.

Moreover, this is the year many diehard deniers of Global Warming have at least begun the process of reversing their positions. Exxon-Mobil, long the leader of the fight to maintain a status quo, has stopped funding many front organizations like the Competitive Enterprise Institute that pays scientists to publicly question thereality of Climate Change. George W. Bush, suddenly faced with a Democratic Congress, actually used the words “the serious challenge of global climate change” in his State of the Union address (though he said precious little else on the subject). More significantly, ten major corporations joined with four environmental organizations in USCAP (United States Climate Action Partnership) urging Congress to pass legislation with teeth about greenhouse gas emissions.

In this context, we can look forward to what might be the biggest Earth Day celebration in many years, as these concerns about climate may energize San Diegans to turn out in record numbers in Balboa Park on April 22, from 10am -5pm. Organizers of San Diego EarthWorks’ 18th annual EarthFair accustomed to 50,000+ San Diegans are prepared to break records.

Already the world’s largest free environmental fair and Earth Daycelebration, EarthFair will host more than 230 exhibitors representing organizations, businesses — and yes, some local government departments — that will show you how to think globally and act locally to make a difference.

Want to help reduce global climate change? Reduce your energy consumption. Add solar panels to your home. Use windows, doors and building materials that provide good insulation to reduce heating and cooling. Change air filters annually. Drive an alternative-fuel vehicle or hybrid with good mileage. Use compact fluorescent lighting. Wash your clothes in warm or cold water, not hot. Get Energy Star® appliances, starting with the refrigerator. There will be exhibitors who can help you with all of these... and show you how to save money at the same time.

Concerned with protecting our natural heritage? Every major conservation group in San Diego will be at EarthFair. Volunteer for a cleanup. Donate some cash to help set aside endangered habitats. Use salvaged or recycled wood on new building projects. Support animal rescue and protection organizations. Buy a t-shirt... every little bit helps.

How about cutting pollution... right at home? Learn to safely discard those old paint cans. Switch to rechargeable batteries to keep old polluting ones out of landfills. Stencil a stormdrain to help remind others that what is dumped in the street ends up on our beaches. Help restore a watershed — nature’s filtration system. Filter your water and air to keep your family safe. You will find folks to help you keep it clean.

Concerned about the next generation? The Children’s Activity Area has a wide variety of hands-on activities that are both fun and educational, like making paper from recycled pulp and constructing gift cards from found natural and recycled materials. Outdoor training will demonstrate how to “take only memories, leave only footprints”. And don’t forget the Children’s Earth Parade with this year’s theme, “Cool the Earth!”

So, what gets your juices flowing? EarthFair is a “big tent” event: no matter what your interest or concern about our environment and quality of life, there will be someone who wants to talk to you about how you can make a difference.

There is one way you can really make a difference right at EarthFair...
by helping to produce the event!

 Each year, more than 400 volunteers come out to turn Balboa Park into EarthFair, keep it running smoothly, and at the end of the day leave the park cleaner than it has been all year. There are 20 different jobs for individuals 14 years of age and above; no experience is necessary. You can work one three-hour shift, or help out all day.

To find out about the volunteer positions and to signup online, surf over to www.EarthDayWeb.org and click on the “Volunteer” button.

To find out more about EarthFair, call (858) 272-7370 or visit the San Diego EarthWorks’ website at: www.EarthDayWeb.org
Make a difference — NOW!


Return to the March/April Index page