Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day in a City Near You

earth day times square 2009 photo

We can't guarantee any Matthew Modine sightings if you turn out to Times Square for this year's Earth Day Festivities, but we can guarantee a good time... Photo from 2009 celebrations, Matthew McDermott.

Whether you're an activist, gardener, music-lover, recycler--or all of those things and more--there are plenty of activities to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day this week. From rising early for a 6k walk, to raise awareness for clean water projects, across the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City to marching on the National Mall in a climate change rally in Washington, D.C., click through for a handful of events in these two metro areas that have us excited about Earth Week this year.


Earth Day at Times Square: Eco-Fashion Parade, Musical Performances, and More

What: A special commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day will be held in Times Square. The public event will run from 11am to 2pm and feature messages from local, national and international environmental activists, business leaders, government officials, and musical guests who are committed to environmental action.

An eco-fashion parade will stroll through Time Square Thursday morning kicking off the Earth Day celebration. Crowds will gather on the Red Steps near 46th street to await the procession. The "activity" will be flashing "The new symbol of hope and commitment" which is being commemorated by forming the letter "E" with the right hand.

Exhibitors include 101.9, Anvil Knitwear, Bicycle for a Day, Burt's Bees, ConEdison, Environmental Defense Fund, General Motors, Greenopolis, Home Depot, I Move Green, Kaia House, Keep America Beautiful, Metro, New York Post, New York Times, o.b. tampons, Origins, Pepsi, Riverkeeper, Save the Chimps, Soda Stream, The Tea Set, Toshiba and TwitVid, and Waste Management.

When: Exhibits from 8am to 4pm, Performances from 11am to 2pm

Where: The event will take place in the newly created pedestrian plazas in Times Square on Broadway between 45th and 46th streets. As part of the celebration, the public plaza between 42nd and 43rd streets will host information booths on a variety of environmental issues.

More: Reco Jeans, NYC.gov, Keep America Beautiful

NYU Celebrates Earth Day with a Week-Long Program of Events

Earth Day Street Fair
What: On the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, come rock the block with us! In true street fair/block party fashion, there will be local artists, musicians including Total Slacker, green organizations, interactive booths, and food. Bring your whites for free tie dying, and grab some free dosas from the famous NY Dosas cart!

When: April 22, 10:00-2:00 pm

Where: Washington Place between Greene and Washington Square East

Earth Day Banquet
What: The Earth Day Banquet combines a delicious vegan dinner with a panel presentation from keynote speaker Andrew Revkin of the New York Times blog, Dot Earth, and panel speakers Karen Washington of Just Food, and Amanda Park Taylor of The L Magazine. In the spirit of sustainability, please bring your own reusable glass, plate, and utensils.

When: April 22, 8:00-10:00 pm

Where: Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, 4th floor, E&L; Auditorium

More: NYU Earth Week

Aveda Walk for Water

What: The Aveda Walk for Water happens in cities all over the world during the week of Earth Day, April 22--to raise awareness and funding for clean water organizations. Help raise awareness for Clean Water by walking across the Brooklyn Bridge with the New York AVEDA team. All proceeds help Clean Ocean Action protect our waterways.

When: April 22, from 9:30am

Where: Walk starts at 1 Centre St.

More: Aveda Walk for Water

EarthFair Indoors at Grand Central Terminal

What: Giant Earth Images will illuminate the Main Concourse with inspiring environmentally themed quotes, message, photographs and graphic images contributed by artists such as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein and Rafal Olbinski, among others. The show, projected onto the north columns in the concourse, will run 10 hours a day.

Also, check out exhibition booths by Anvil Knitwear, Earth Day New York, Earth Institute at Columbia University, MTA Sustainability, MTA Safari 7, PlaNYC, Siemens City of the Future, Toshiba & TwitVid, Toyota, and the GreenShows EcoLux pop-up shop.

When: April 19th-Friday April, 23rd; 10am - 7pm and Saturday, April 24th 10am-5pm

Where: Grand Central Terminal, 42nd Street and Park Avenue

More: Earth Day New York, Grand Central Terminal

Eco Expo for Environmental Education (e4-NYC)

What: he Eco Expo for Environmental Education (e4-NYC) is an informative, mobilizing and action-oriented forum for exchange of ideas, information, and resources. The conference will bring together 800 students, teachers, administrators, community members, eco leaders, elected officials, non-profit organizations, and businesses to share and discover ways to reduce their impact on the environment and conserve our limited resources.

Participate in panel discussions, dialogues, interactive workshops, and the Eco Resource Fair featuring a collective of products, services, and environmental initiatives.

When: April 23-24,
Where: Collegiate School, 260 West 78th Street

More: Teens Turning Green (pdf), Register at e4-nyc.org


Animal Welfare Institute Whale Rally & March on the White House

What: On Earth Day details of a deal will be released that will signal a resumption commercial whaling. Within weeks the US will decide whether to back the plan which will include whaling in a whale sanctuary and on endangered species. The Rally for Whales and March on the White House will demand the US oppose the package.

When: April 22, 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Where: National Mall

More: EarthDay.org

George Washington University Earth Week Activities

What: The George Washington University will host numerous activities in celebration of Earth Month. Student organizations have planned sustainable product sales, movie screenings, service events and lobbying activities throughout the month of April. Additionally, GW has partnered with the "Save My Oceans Tour," which will feature a free movie screening of the Disney film "Oceans" and art installations on the Foggy Bottom Campus. This year, Fountain Fling hosted on the Mount Vernon Campus will be part of the "Save My Oceans Tour" and State Radio will perform.

GreenGW Earth Day Fair
When: April 22, 10am - 6pm

Where: University Yard, H St. between 20th and 21st streets, NW

More: GWU Earth Month

Earth Day Cleanup at the National Zoo

What: National Zoo staff and volunteers will work together to improve the health of the Zoo's ecosystem by picking up aluminum cans, food wrappers, and other litter in a wooded area of the Zoo near the Connecticut Avenue entrance. Not only will you get the chance to help the planet, but you'll also venture to a place in the Zoo not often seen by the public eye.

When: April 24, 8-10am

Where: Smithsonian's National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW

More: National Zoo

EPA's 4th Annual eCycling Day for the Washington Metropolitan Area

What: Join us in celebration of Earth Day as we host our 4th annual eCycling event. Bring your unwanted computer and computer-related equipment (computers, monitors, keyboards, printers, etc.) and cell phones for free recycling. This year, EPA and cooperating organizations will collect unwanted computer equipment. Don't forget you are responsible for removing data from computers before drop-off.

When: April 24, 10am - 3pm

Where: National Harbor Plateau in Prince George's County, Maryland

More: EPA eCycling

The Earth Day Climate Rally at the National Mall

What: On Sunday, April 25, Earth Day Network will organize a massive climate rally on The National Mall to demand Congress pass strong legislation. The Climate Rally will include notable speakers Reverend Jesse Jackson, film director, James Cameron, AFL-CIO President, Richard Trumka, Olympic gold medalist, Billy Demong, producer, Trudie Styler, author, Margaret Atwood, NFL player and television personality, Dhani Jones, environmental photographer Sebastian Copeland and many more.

The Climate Rally will also feature live music from Sting, John Legend, The Roots, Jimmy Cliff, Passion Pit, Bob Weir, Willie Colón, Joss Stone, Robert Randolph, Patrick Stump, Mavis Staples, Booker T, Honor Society and Tao Rodriguez-Seeger.

When: April 25, 11am - 7pm

Where: National Mall

More: EarthDay.org


Now we know the headline says 'city' but TreeHugger is a national publication and there's just too much going on in California to break it out into individual cities, so we have take a bit of liberty here. There are full state listings here, but these are some highlights:

"Avatar" Screening, Plus Q&A; With Director James Cameron - Los Angeles

What: James Cameron screens "Avatar" and takes questions from 4,500 Los Angles Partnership School students, plus 500 regular ticket holders. The "AVATAR Award" will be presented to winners of an environmental speaking contest put on by The Words That Shook The World "Environmental Solutions" Eco Warrior Trainings. Avatar actor Michelle Rodriguez will be DJing, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel Moore, Daryl Hannah and Mayor Villaraigosa and more will speak. All proceeds from ticket sales benefit LA Partnership Schools. Tickets start at $50 and go up to $500 (which gets you access to a celeb-studded VIP party that night).

When: April 22nd, 9am

Where: Nokia Theatre LA Live, 777 Chick Hearn Court, LA

More: Earth Day with "Avatar" Director James Cameron

Earth Day on the Urban Farm - San Francisco

What: Celebrate Earth Day while learning new skills, building new soil, and making a few new friends. Live music by talented local artist Pamela Parker and free food will keep you moving while you work! Take part in a letters of intention ceremony, plant seeds, build vertical potato towers and contribute to something amazing! Bring clothing you don't mind getting dirty, a water bottle, gloves, and wear sturdy shoes. RSVP on their Facebook events page.

When: April 22nd, 2:30-6:30pm

Where: Hayes Valley Farm, 450 Laguna Street, San Francisco

More: Hayes Valley Farm

San Francisco Carnaval Earth Day Celebration

What: Celebrate Earth Day and support the people behind San Francisco's annual Carnaval. Doors open at 8pm and $10 will get you in. There's a whole host of performers, including Fofo Na Ropa Drum & Dance Group, Sistas Wit Style, DJs, a costume gala and fashion show, and more.

When: April 22nd, starting at 8pm

Where: The Blue Mission, 2565 Mission St, San Francisco. Note this is a 21+ event

More: S.F. Carnaval Earth Day Celebration

Wildlife Preserve and River Cleanup - San Diego

What: On Saturday, April 24th at the Mission Valley Preserve, join the San Diego River Park Foundation's Clean and Green Team for the 8th annual Creek to Bay county-wide cleanup event as we continue our mission to cleanup and restore the beautiful and historic San Diego River. The river is one of the more polluted waterways in the country but with your help years of littering and neglect can be reversed giving the native plants and animals a trash free habitat in which to live.

When: April 24th, 9:00am-12:30pm

Where: Volunteers will meet at the west side of Sefton Field (located off Hotel Circle Place).

More: Call 619 297 7380 or email

Earth Day XL - Los Angeles

What: Block party in and around Margo Studios, put on by the Broccoli City Lifestyle Group. BCTV will shoot a campaign supporting A Billion Acts of Green and you can be in it. Local art displays, music, speakers, a green product expo, and educational events fill out the day.

When: April 24th, doors open 11am, music starts at 2pm

Where: Inside and outside of Margo Studios, 1354 Margo Street, Los Angeles

More: Earth Day XL
More Earth Day
Kick-Off Earth Week with Planet Green Premieres
Earth Day - Time for Visions, Visionaries and Volunteers

Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day in a City Near You
Whether you're an activist, gardener,

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