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Natural Awakenings Indianapolis

Celebrate Earth Day 2014: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle to Renew the Health of Our Planet

Whether already an activist or still struggling to sort recyclables, we all have a prime opportunity during the week of April 22 to renew our individual and collective pledge to tread more lightly on the planet.

“Environmentalism touches every part of our lives, from what we eat to what we wear to what we breathe,” says Earth Day Network President Kathleen Rogers. “Learning about where our food comes from or how a product is made can be fun,” she continues, “and awareness is the foundation for action.”

More than a billion citizens have already registered their acts of green through the organization’s website; this year, the campaign seeks to engage a billion more. Suggestions range from the personal, such as pledging to stop using disposable plastic, to the political, in calling our congressional representatives to reestablish a tax credit program for renewable energy.

With an estimated two out of every three people on Earth expected to be living in cities by 2050—straining water, energy and transportation systems—Earth Day Network has chosen Green Cities as this year’s theme. Advocates are calling upon cities to invest in smart grids, overhaul outdated building codes and increase public transportation options.

U.S. success stories helping to lead the way include Chicago’s Solar Express program, using incentives to drive solar installations, and New York City’s pedestrian plazas, designed to replace urban gridlock with open space. Denver’s low-income South Lincoln neighborhood is also getting a makeover with its green public housing community that boasts a platinum- certified Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design building. Its energy efficiency and water reuse systems are reducing resource consumption by up to 40 percent. Plus, bicycle lanes in roads and expanded access to city bus and tram systems decrease traffic-related pollution.

Visit EarthDay.org to pledge a personal act of green, find a volunteer opportunity or learn more about the re-greening of urban communities around the world. Help Indianapolis celebrate its progress toward sustainability at these local Earth Day 2014 events.

Earth Day Indiana Festival
11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, April 26
• Free, family-friendly outdoor event with 130 exhibits, live music, special activities for kids, and food vendors.
• Exhibits focus on protecting the environment, conserving natural resources and sustainable living.
• Visit Natural Awakenings Indy booth and enter for chance to win a special gift from Greenscape Gals or grow bags donated by Indy Urban Acres Organic Farm. Admission:

Free. Location: White River State Park, 801 West Washington St., Downtown Indianapolis. For more information, visit EarthDayIndiana.org

Earth Day Community Celebration at the JCC
1 to 4 p.m., Sunday, April 27
• Arrive early to help Keep Indianapolis Beautiful plant trees from noon to 1 p.m.
• Free and family-friendly event offers more than 50 hands-on activities for adults and kids to inspire good environmental stewardship and to reconnect people with nature.
• Visit the Natural Awakenings Indy display for an interactive go-green gardening exhibit, heirloom seeds for kids and a chance to win a grow bag starter garden sponsored by Greenscape Gals and Indy Urban Acres Organic Farm.

The JCC’s mission is to enhance the physical, social, emotional and spiritual health of the Indianapolis community. The Earth Day Community Celebration fulfills this goal and more by promoting the health and well-being of our residents plus our environment.

Admission: Free. Location: Arthur M. Glick JCC, 6701 Hoover Rd., Indianapolis. For more information, visit JCCIndy.org.
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