Friday, April 23, 2010

Earth Day, Week, Year!

Dating back to 1970, Earth Day is the annual celebration designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for our natural environment. This week, all around the world, there will be festivals and events and Richmond has its share! I think all of us get a little overwhelmed with all the "green wash" out there - the barrage of "green" products and lifestyle choices that we're told will make us more responsible citizens of the planet. After the recent Energy Star fiasco, I think it's all the more clear that consumers have to practice critical thinking.

Marketing and advertising aside, there are many different ways we can leave a smaller footprint and in the process, simplify our lives a bit. That's where this all ties in with the Minimalist spirit! Whether you choose to buy used clothing/furniture, specify low VOC (volatile organic compound) finishes for your home, capture and recycle rainwater, purchase from the Farm to Family bus, grow your own food or support local restaurants/retailers. All of it contributes to the sustainability of our natural environment and our communities. In turn, you're potentially saving money and perhaps commuting less and learning about the people that live and work in Richmond.

Here are a few suggestions if you want to partake in the Earth Day celebration this week.

1. Richmond's Earth Day Festival is Sunday, April 25, from noon to 5 pm in Manchester. Music, food, vendors and sustainable sessions!

2. Learn more about rain barrels and send out some prayers to Mother Nature with the Tricycle Garden folks on Sunday, April 25, from 10 am to noon at the 9th & B Urban Farm.

3. Want to find out about different ways to get involved? Check out the Earth Day Network and learn about this year's Climate Rally in DC. The site has links to events, people and issues from around the globe.

4. Do you need new (used) outdoor gear? Want to meet some of the people responsible for our beautiful James River Park System? While you're at the Earth Day Festival on Sunday, make sure to stop by the James River Outdoor Coalition Gear Swap. Great deals and great people!

5. Learn more about growing your own herbs this Saturday April 24th at Maymont's Herbs Galore & More. Join the more than 40 vendors and experienced green thumbs for classes and exhibits from 8 am to 4 pm. Free for Maymont members and $3 for non-members.

6. Lastly, imagination and inspiration all around - Monsieur Patrick Blanc's Vertical Gardens and TreeHugger.

Emily Smith

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