Although we are green on a daily basis--San Francisco has the highest recycling and composting rate of U.S. cities--Earth Day reminds us to respect nature and the environment. The annual, internationally recognized Earth Day is April 22. Since in 2014 it falls on a Tuesday, the weekends before and after are packed with environmental and green activities in the Bay Area, though there are eco-themed events throughout the month. Check below for where and when you can eat birthday cake with John Muir, see the latest eco-fashions, dig in the dirt, and more.
April 12, at 10 am-2 pm
Tours of Shoreway Environmental Center (where San Mateo County garbage, recyclables and composting materials are taken), art activities, info booths, food, prizes and a display of elementary school students' entries in a “Trash to Art” contest. Residents can take home free compost.
At Shoreway Environmental Center, 333 Shoreway Rd., San Carlos 94070. Free.
Earth Day on the Bay
April 19, at 10 am-5 pm
Explore mud, fish and plankton, touch marine animals, make ocean-themed arts and crafts, enjoy live music, learn about cave diving and ride on a research boat.on the bay .
At the Marine Science Institute, 500 Discovery Parkway, Redwood City 94063. Two-hour boat ride: $40 adults, $20 for ages 5-12. Other activities free.
Earth Day SF
April 19, at 10 am-6 pm
At the Bay Area’s biggest Earth Day bash, eco, civic, education, youth, business and arts groups converge to promote green, sustainable living. Test drive a Chevy Volt or an electric Smart Car, Learn about green jobs, vertical gardens, worm farming and how to build a solar oven. Loads of live bands and entertainment, activities for kids, fashion shows, speakers and organic food.
At Civic Center Plaza, San Francisco 94102. Free.
Play for the Planet
April 19 & 20, at 11 am-3 pm
Zookeeper talks, games, a scavenger hunt, crafts with reusable materials, costumed animal characters and face painting. On April 19, from 8:30-10 am, join a docent-led bicycling tour of the zoo before its normal opening hours (bring your own bike).
At San Francisco Zoo, Sloat Blvd. at the Great Highway, San Francisco 94132. Bike tour $18, 23; includes parking and zoo admission. Other activities free with zoo admission.
National Park Week
All national parks (all 401 of ‘em) are free on April 19 and 20, and have special activities scheduled during the whole week. Ones near us include Yosemite, Muir Woods National Monument, Point Reyes National Seashore, Alcatraz Island and Kings Canyon National Park. On April 26, National Junior Ranger Day, kids can become Junior Rangers by learning about and doing activities in the parks.
Earth Day Ticket Discount
April 22-May 4
Present a reusable water bottle at the Cal Academy's ticket window and get $3 off general admission during the daytime. Inside, fill up at the Academy's water bottle filling stations, On April 22 at 10:30 am, USF Dance Generators present “Oceans MOVE,” an interactive dance performance that celebrates the ocean.
At California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco 94118.
Mt. Tamalpais Earth Day
April 26, at 9 am-1 pm
Various agencies host a morning of roll-up-your-sleeves work—help restore native habitats, remove weeds, repair trails and clean up camp areas. Learn about the history and ecology of Mt. Tamalpais, too. bagels and lunch are served. All ages welcome.
Meet at Pantoll Ranger Station on Panoramic Highway, Mount Tamalpais State Park. Pre-registration encouraged; contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 388-2070.
Pacifica Beach Coalition Earth Day of Action and EcoFest
April 26, at 9 am-3 pm
From the website, pick a beach, park, garden or road in or near Pacifica to clean up or restore in the morning. Then from 11:30 am on, celebrate with entertainment, live music and kids’ activities at Linda Mar State Beach.
John Muir Birthday–Earth Day Celebration
April 26, at 10 am-4 pm
A joint party for John Muir’s birthday (April 21) and Earth Day. Children’s activities with National Park Service rangers, live music, tours of Muir’s 1882 historic home and its California native plant garden, a show of recycled fashions and a fundraising silent auction. Muir serves his birthday cake, too. A founder of the Sierra Club, Muir was instrumental in creating the National Park Service.
At John Muir National Historic Site, 4202 Alhambra Avenue at Highway 4, Martinez 94553. Free.
Create-With-Nature Earth Day Celebration
April 26, at 11 am-3 pm (drop in)
Scour the beach, dump the trash, and then use the rocks, shells, sand, driftwood, feathers and other natural bits to make whatever inspires you. Or just bring a picnic and watch as outdoor sculpture is created. This annual event is organized by Berkeley environmental artist Zach Pine.
At the south end of Stinson Beach, Marin. Free.