When is Earth Day 2011? Where to Go and What You Can Do
When is Earth Day 2011? Since 1970, Earth Day has been held on April 22, which this year falls conveniently on a Friday on the fourth weekend of the month, but celebrations are taking place all over the world at different dates around actual Earth Day. During this time of environmental appreciation, it might seem antithetical to the ideals of Earth Day 2011 to talk about travel (especially air travel), but on the contrary, the holiday is the perfect time to think about the impact your travel has on the environment and what you, as a responsible citizen, might do about it.
Reducing Your Carbon Footprint
The easiest way to reduce your carbon footprint while flying is to take a direct flight rather than multiple connections and stay at an eco-friendly hotel, but if that's not possible – and heck, even if it is – you might consider purchasing a "carbon offset" for your travel. While there has been some controversy surrounding so-called "carbon neutral" companies and carbon offsets (which reduce a person's environmental impact on the environment from flying, driving, and generally being a consumer), namely that not all "carbon neutral" investments are regulated or created alike, the EPA has gotten better at verifying the quality and authenticity of companies making green claims. This means you, as a consumer, can make your Earth Day 2011 contribution by trading some capital for peace of mind by investing in renewable energy, reforestation, and other conservation projects. Websites like Carbon Fund and Expedia make the process seamless, and you can see directly where your money is going, and it only costs around $12 to "offset" a 6,000 mile round trip flight. If you can't plant a tree on Earth Day, consider purchasing a carbon offset.
Earth Day Celebrations
Because it sounds flip, I should clarify that "planting a tree" is not the be-all and end-all of what Earth Day 2011 represents. There are tons of small improvements you can make in your life, from using more efficient lighting in your home, to unplugging unused appliances and recycling and composting as much as you can that are far more impactful on a day-to-day basis than any single Earth Day act can be. But Earth Day celebrations, including, yes, planting trees, are an important way to remind yourself of your connection to the environment, to the dirt and the world and its ecosystem. Most major cities have some sort of Earth Day celebration in April to May; here are a few prominent ones.
Sunday, April 17:St. Louis Earth Day, St. Louis, Missouri
Friday, April 22:Earth Day New York, New York City
Saturday, April 23:Nashville Earth Day 2011, Nashville, Tennessee; Earth Day Indiana, Indianapolis, Indiana
Sunday, May 22, 2011:World Fest 2011, Lake Balboa, California