Local Life

Earth Day events encourage activist attendees

Cities offer education on sustainable living options

Posted 4/16/18

There’s a lot that separates and divides people, and it seems like the list is ever-growing — everything from religion to politics and economic status. But there’s one thing everyone has in …

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Local Life

Earth Day events encourage activist attendees

Cities offer education on sustainable living options

Posted

There’s a lot that separates and divides people, and it seems like the list is ever-growing — everything from religion to politics and economic status.

But there’s one thing everyone has in common — everybody lives on the same planet.

Keeping the Earth strong is of vital importance, and in the decades since Earth Day was first created in 1970, the need to protect the planet has only grown.

Area celebrations have also grown. Lakewood’s annual free Earth Day Celebration is bigger than ever this year. The Anythink Library on York Street in Thornton is hosting a special Tween STEAM Club virtual reality Earth Day event. The Colorado Sierra Club is organizing a gathering at the state Capitol for the second year in a row, and Greenwood Village’s Curtis Center for the Arts is hosting an art exhibit centered on the sustainability of the planet’s environments.

In other words, Earth Day has become a celebration and call to action for everyone, everywhere. Because the planet’s health affects everyone.

“We want to bring the voices of the community together,” said Hillary Larson, communications coordinator with the Colorado Sierra Club. “It’s important because we know that so much environmental injustice happens in places where residents’ voices aren’t heard.”

At 9 a.m. on April 21, the Sierra Club will host an event outside the state Capitol, featuring yoga, live music by the Broadcast, an opening ceremony by Four Winds Native American Council, and guest speakers including Olympic gold medalist and coach Justin Reiter, Tay Anderson and Colorado state Rep. Joseph Salazar.

The day will also include a beer garden, children’s zone, vendors and local merchandise, as well as thousands of people passionate about protecting the planet and reaching a 100 percent clean energy future. Last year, attending exceeded 13,000, and organizers are expecting more on Saturday.

“There are a lot of things happening on a federal level that is really negative,” Larson said. “We want people to be reinvigorated and keep staying active, and that’s what we hope to inspire at the event.”

The organizers behind Lakewood’s annual Earth Day at the Heritage Center, 801 S. Yarrow St., event are also aiming for attendees to be activated by what they learn.

“By teaching sustainable living, we want Lakewood residents to be proactive about employing more environmentally friendly living options,” said Senior Sustainability Planner Lynn Coppedge. “We want to expand people’s view of what sustainable living can be.”

Similar to the Sierra Club event, Lakewood’s, which runs 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 21, will feature live music. Local artists Scott Slay and the Rail, the Intuit Band, and Matt Rouch and the Noise Upstairs will join more than 50 vendors focused on climate change impacts, solar energy, bicycle safety, healthy eating, protecting wildlife, eco-shopping, recycled art, and locally grown food. There will also be an electric vehicle expo and sustainable backyard demo.

“Attendees can learn about everything from xeriscaping to caring for bees, chickens and goats,” Coppedge said. “It’s really important we have neighbor to neighbor interaction on issues like this, and creating these connections is one of our biggest goals.”

Greenwood Village is joining the festivities with an event of their own on April 21, but its Earth Day acknowledgment extends through the end of the month in its “Our Planet” exhibit.

“A local artist named Bob Doyle reached out to us about doing a show based on sustainability,” said Chris Stevens, cultural arts manager at Greenwood Village. “The exhibit we set up allows artists to explore what’s happening and what might be done to address the sustainability of the planet.”

There are 54 pieces on display and they tackle everything from pollution and soil erosion to recycling and water usage.

No matter what event one attends, the goal is to come away eager to do their part for the planet.

“More than anything, I want people to become aware,” Stevens said. “We should all take action on behalf of Earth.”

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