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April 19, 2011 > Earth Day 2011

Earth Day 2011

By Mauricio Segura

In just the last 25 years, solar energy, hybrid cars, alternative fuels, recycling, green-friendly appliances and conservation have become prevalent. Growing awareness of pollution in water, land, air and food is fueling a movement toward preservation of natural resources and use of "organic" farming methods. Although there is much debate about the causes and significance of global warming, depletion of the ozone layer surrounding the Earth and destruction of rainforests, recycling and conservation is gaining worldwide acceptance. After all, no one wants to be confronted by an evening news report on a sunburned Polar Bear standing on a chunk of Arctic ice, growling at tourists while floating past Key West, Florida.

It is estimated that one of every 25 Americans is contributing to a cleaner and more environmentally sensitive planet. The impetus for national - and international - recognition and increasing environmental consciousness was given a boost in 1970 when U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin and Denis Hayes organized an environmental "teach-in." This first "Earth Day" was held on April 22, 1970 in Philadelphia with smaller events in a dozen cities throughout the U.S. Twenty million people participated and a full hour of prime time news, hosted by Walter Cronkite, covered the event that evening.

Denis Hayes founded the Earth Day Network which now coordinates annual Earth Day festivities in over 141 nations. The organization works year round in an effort to educate citizens in local communities including 12,000 high schools and 2,000 colleges across the country.

Earth Day is officially recognized on April 22 but volunteer events are scheduled throughout the days before and following that date. Everyone is encouraged to participate in local events but can also find personal options through recycling efforts, neighborhood cleanup, energy efficient use of appliances, planting trees or vegetables; opportunities are limitless.

The City of Fremont, Washington Hospital and local Tri-City organizations plan to celebrate Earth Day on Saturday, April 23. "Let's Go Green Together" will feature a number of interactive booths supporting environmental sustainability, conservation, pollution prevention, reducing waste and much more. The event will also feature games and activities for children. In partnership with the nonprofit Rising Sun Energy Center, residents can bring a 300-watt or higher halogen floor lamp between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and exchange it for a free energy-efficient fluorescent version. Call (510) 665-1501 ext. 16 if you have any questions about the exchange program.

Let's Go Green Together'
Saturday, April 23
11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Interactive booths, games and activities for children
Washington West
2500 Mowry Ave., Fremont
(510) 494-4570

East Bay Regional Parks at Coyote Hills, will host "Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle" on Saturday, April 23 featuring family craft making, an environmental puppet show, and recycling games. Call (510) 544-3220 for further information.

Reduce, Reuse & Recycle
Saturday, April 23
9:30 a.m. - Noon; 1:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Crafts, puppet show, games
Coyote Hills Regional Park
8000 Patterson Ranch Rd., Fremont
(510) 795-9385

To find additional Earth Day activities, volunteer opportunities and personal actions that can make a difference, visit:

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