Tuesday, April 22, 2014, marks the 45th annual Earth Day around the world! The global theme this year is Green Cities — taking measures in cities like our very own to create sustainable communities in all applicable ways, including making “smart investments in sustainable technology, forward-thinking public policy, and an educated and active public.”
Here’s something I didn’t know, and maybe you didn’t either: April is actually Earth Month here in Austin. And here is something cool: the City of Austin’s Office of Sustainability offers its own FREE mobile app called rethink/ that is designed to help you and your family make sustainability a priority in your everyday choices — and could save you money, too. Be sure to check out the Office of Sustainability’s other tips and resources for Austinites who want to protect and preserve our beautiful city.
Here are some ways to celebrate this year’s Earth Day with your family and loved ones.
Earth Day 2014 events:
- Earth Week at St. Edward’s University — April 21–25. Earth Week 2014 is FREE and open to the public. This year’s program includes a Wild Basin management workday, a native plant hike, a tour of the Student Garden led by Students for Sustainability, a green technology workshop, free coffee from Jo’s Coffee when you bring your own cup, and much more. Most of the events will take place at the St. Edward’s University campus, 3001 S. Congress Ave. Austin, TX 78704.
- Earth Day celebration at DogBoy’s Dog Ranch — April 21–25, 7 AM–6:30 PM: DogBoy’s Dog Ranch is hosting a week-long Earth Day celebration at their office at 2615 Crystal Bend Dr. in Pflugerville. Drop off used electronics in the recycling bins provided in their office. Also accepting gently used and clean donations for Austin Pets Alive!
- Travis County Celebrates Earth Day — April 22, 11 AM – 1 PM: Travis County Transportation and Natural Resources Department, in partnership with the Travis County Sheriff’s Office and Health and Human Services, is very proud to announce that it will be hosting the first ever “T-Shirts for Hunger” to support local area food banks who have faced a shortage of plastic bags used to pass out food donations. Everyone is invited to bring their used, unwanted and preferably clean t-shirts to the event to be held at the Travis County Building, 700 Lavaca Street in downtown Austin between 11:00 A.M. and 1:00 P.M. on Tuesday, April 22, 2014.
- Free Earth Day story time at Baby Earth — April 22, 11:30 AM at Baby Earth in Round Rock. The 22nd kicks off Earth Week at Baby Earth (April 22–27), and the store will feature various sales and specials all week long — such as 20% off all cloth diapers and accessories. Be sure to check their Facebook page daily for more info.
- Green Team at the Thinkery — April 22, 11 AM–1 PM: The City of Austin’s Office of Sustainability’s Green Team will be demonstrating how easy and fun it is to go green, and giving out FREE prizes. See all the green activities the Thinkery has planned for Tuesday. Regular admission applies.
- Greener Choices Earth Day Festival at ACC Riverside — April 22, 10 AM–7 PM: Austin Community College’s Renewable Energy Student Association presents this festival at the ACC Riverside campus at 1020 Grove Blvd. Admission is FREE (there is a suggested donation of $5) and includes live music, a kids’ area, many workshops, and a keynote address by former Austin mayor Will Wynn. View the festival flyer here.
- Butterfly Festival in Wimberley — April 26, 10 AM–4 PM: Come to the EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens for a day of fun. The festival features the live release of butterflies; opening ceremonies at the Veterans Memorial Plaza; displays of butterfly art; carnival games and crafts; concessions; live music; and more. Admission is FREE. Donations are gratefully accepted and concession/game tickets may be purchased.
- Austin Earth Day Festival — April 26, 12–6 PM: Join the City of Austin, the Austin Public Library and local organizations at the Mueller Browning Hangar for sustainability information and inspiration in the form of live music, entertainment for kids, food trailers and more. Click here for a list of features and attractions. This event is FREE and open to the public. For more information, click here. Mueller Browning Hangar, 4550 Mueller Blvd., Austin.
- Austin Nature Day – April 26, 12-4 PM: Celebrate Austin Nature Day at the Austin Nature & Science Center this weekend! Bring the whole family to this fun, outdoor event to celebrate Earth Day and experience nature through hands-on activities. Enjoy a guided hike on the Zilker Preserve, examine insects up close, and visit the resident animals that call the Austin Nature & Science Center home. FREE! Parking and Main Entrance at 2389 Stratford Drive, Austin.
- Earth Day Fling – April 27, 12:30 – 3 PM: A FREE community event! Gather at the Pavilion behind the church and enjoy these fun activities: bring your kite, clowns, music, kids games and crafts and lots of fun! Tour the Community Garden and see a special Earth Day event. Bring your own picnic lunch or purchase a plate of Dickey’s BBQ. Relax in the shade and enjoy a sno-cone from Kona-ice. MUMC will provide refreshment, music, games, crafts, and a beautiful spring afternoon! Manchaca United Methodist Church, 1011 FM 1626, Manchaca.
Earth Day Freebies:
- Free entrance at LBJ National Historical Park — April 19–20: During this weekend, which marks the start of National Parks week, entrance fees are waived to get into any national park. The LBJ park is about 50 miles west of Austin, and is a great spot for camping, picnics and all kinds of fun.
- Earth Day Treasure Hunt at Pottery Barn Kids — Week of April 21: Join Pottery Barn Kids for an eco-inspired treasure hunt and explore the store for green clues and fun facts at PBK Barton Creek Square. Kids who find all the clues will receive a FREE plantable bookmark. Pottery Barn Kids, Barton Creek Square, 2901 S Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin.
- Free Reusable Totes at Snap Kitchen — April 22: Celebrate Earth Day at Snap Kitchen with a free reusable tote with any purchase! Mention this offer to receive your FREE tote.
- Free frozen yogurt at Ikea — Write down the names of 10 sustainable products (see link for which products to find!) and bring them to the Smaland check-in for your FREE frozen treat. (FYI, your Ikea Family card also gets you $1 off your entry fee at the Thinkery during the month of April.) IKEA, 1 Ikea Way, Round Rock.