VOTE EARTH for Earth Day 2008
By Alice Martinez



Nobody wants to harm the environment, but we all do. We’re born into it. From Pampers to Depends and all the consumption in between, everything we do has some kind of environmental impact. We used to be able to ignore it. Some still do. But as population has risen, the impacts add up.

The trick is to lighten our load so the natural processes of recovery and restoration can catch up. What to do? Conserve, reuse, recycle. It’s pretty easy to find ways to shrink your environmental footprint.

Your energy and water bills are one conservation indicator: lower is better, for both the environment and your bank account. Are you using compact fluorescent lights yet? Is it time to replace that old energy-hog refrigerator? On the water front, use low-flow everything, from shower heads to drip irrigation (you do turn off your watering system when it rains, right?).

Your car and driving habits are another major item. But then you know that. You probably can’t eliminate a long commute to work or school, but how about driving a fuel-efficient hybrid? Or going shopping when you won’t get stuck in traffic? Or using the most energy-efficient vehicle that exists: a bicycle.

Check out your trash! If you are not recycling you are not doing your part. If you are already recycling everything, move your view to what you purchase to begin with. Try to purchase items made from renewable resources (e.g., no plastic). And, try to pick items that come in recyclable packaging (or no packaging at all). If you have a garden — or enough room for a worm bin — consider composting your food waste.

Last but not least, politics matters: national, state and local. This year’s Earth Day theme is VOTE EARTH.

If you are eligible but not registered to vote, what are you thinking? Probably that you don’t make a difference. No surprise there: the political system is designed to discourage participation. When concerned citizens opt-out, politicians selected by a minority of special interests are free to do whatever they want. Support candidates who have a record of supporting environmental preservation. Ask them about it.

Got questions? Do you want to know how you can actually implement some of these steps in your life? Want to go to the “one-stop-shop” for all things environmental in the region? Do we have the event for you!

San Diego EarthWorks will present the 19th annual EarthFair in Balboa Park on Sunday, April 20, from 10am to 5pm. EarthFair is the world’s largest free annual environmental fair and Earth Day celebration. More than 200 exhibitors will be there to help you take action on behalf of a clean, healthy environment. They represent every type of environmental organization, governmental program and commercial enterprise with goods, services and causes that address our environment and quality of life. And they want to help you Do The Right Thing.

In addition to the exhibitors, you will find eco-art at our eRTHh Gallery, four entertainment venues, the Children’s Earth Parade, the Cleaner Car Concourse, great vegetarian food… and always a few surprises.

There are many ways you can participate at EarthFair. Of course, you can attend this free event, find out what you want to do next to help the environment, and have a great day in the park.

If you have a business or organization that is concerned with our environment and quality of life, or want to share your eco-artwork with the public, you may want to be an exhibitor.

And last, but not least, you can volunteer! Each EarthFair is produced by about 400 volunteers. Volunteering is easy — and fun. There are 18 different positions, from the high-visibility physically active jobs, like the Transportation Team, to more relaxed ones, like staffing an Information Booth. Volunteers work a minimum of one 3-hour shift, but are very welcome to help out all day.

Earth Day is the biggest environmental event of the year and provides green businesses and organizations with opportunities to share the latest ways for everyone to make a difference. All that is needed is… you.

To find out all about EarthFair, including exhibiting and volunteering, please visit the EarthWorks website: You can register as an exhibitor or volunteer, register to display your eco-art, or register your kids’ groups for the Children’s Earth Day Parade. (If you don’t have internet access, please call San Diego EarthWorks organizers at (858) 272-7370).

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