We all call it home.
Modern buzzwords we are all familiar with…where did it all start? With visionary Wisconsin senator Gaylord Nelson who was moved to take action after witnessing a 1969 massive oil spill disaster. Inspired by anti-war protests at colleges across the nation, Nelson decided that raising awareness about the growing air and water pollution, in a grassroots way with college and university students, was the key. So with the help of 20 million Americans in their own school communities demonstrating their surprisingly deep feelings about our planet, Earth Day was born. Remarkably, ‘It organized itself’ claims Gaylord Nelson, in the energy and momentum of 1960’s activism. The first Earth Day in 1970 opened the door to the creation of the EPA – United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. Corporations were held accountable for their impact on the environment and a green generation was born. In 1990 Earth Day went global, not surprising, as we ALL call it home…
Earth Day is a simple call to action for protection of our planet. Many of us now treat every day as Earth Day with recycling, utilizing cleaner energy, reducing consumption, using renewable resources, expanding extinction awareness and beyond. What else can you do? There is always a bit more…it can be as simple as:
In this spirit of forward thinking, Silicon Valley, the heart of high tech innovation, is visibly conscious of its environmental impact. San Jose, Silicon Valley’s largest city, aims to claim the title as the world center of clean-tech innovation. Already a plastic bag ban in San Jose has reduced bag litter by 89% in their storm drain system and the city council is also moving toward banning Styrofoam containers. Our nation’s 10th largest city, San Jose, has also helped change national standards for LED street lights and is now saving thousands of dollars using efficient, dimmable street lights. San Jose is also currently diverting 73% of its trash from landfills and hopes to make that 100% in the near future. This summer’s opening of its Cleantech Innovation Center is yet another step towards living true green. It’s a partnership with Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and will offer a demonstration center for cleantech startups to test, showcase and speed commercialization of their green products.
Silicon Valley’s Santa Clara has won many awards for its environmental-friendly initiatives. The city is a forerunner in the Earth Day spirit, establishing one of the nation’s first solar utilities in 1975 and introducing the Bay Area’s first recycled water program nearly twenty years ago. It also holds a Tree City USA distinction from the National Arbor Day Foundation, an honor held for 20 consecutive years.
The Saratoga Hills, adjacent to Silicon Valley, is home to a fabulous “Eco-Ride” package available every weekend in April . This includes a scenic horseback ride, wine tasting, catered picnic lunch with wine, and winery/vineyard tours. The Eco-Ride starts at Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards with a docent-led horseback ride on Garrod Farms horses through vineyards and the oak chaparral of Fremont-Older Open Space, with spectacular views of San Francisco Bay and Santa Clara Valley. Following the ride, enjoy wine tasting and an al fresco lunch with wine catered by The Picnic Guild. Next, drive to Silver Mountain for tasting with a tour of the organic vineyards and Silver Mountain’s “Triple Green Canopy” innovative solar array. Reservations required.
The City of Cupertino is proudly hosting its fifth annual Earth Day Festival at the Civic Center Plaza, Saturday April 6, 11-3. Promising to be full of interactive, fun-filled, hands-on art-tivities for people of all ages! Come together to explore fun ways to protect the environment on this day of learning, creating, sharing and inspiration. Highlights include the ABCs and 123s of growing greener and native gardens, looking under the hood of an electric vehicle and even test riding electric bikes and motorcycles, learning how to compost and education on solar technologies. Also featured are delicious food truck sampling, heirloom tomato tasting, making crafts out of recycled materials and lively entertainment.
San Jose State University celebrates Earth Day Tuesday April 23 with a celebration of life, of nature and of our one and only planet earth. The SJSU Environmental Resource Center organizes the annual event to educate students and the local community, bringing a greater awareness of the various environmental problems facing us — issues such as biodiversity loss, water quality degradation, air pollution and global warming. This celebration of Earth Day features 20+ local and international organizations, representing many facets of environmental issues, that provide information and awareness of local and global environmental issues. Highlights include a Sustainable Carnival, the Earth Day San Jose Vendor Fair and music and entertainment.
The Marine Science Institute in Redwood City is honoring Planet Earth with their free all day “Earth Day on the Bay” Saturday April 20. They throw open their doors to the public just once a year so they have packed in a terrific variety of watery ways to have fun and learn about the Bay. If you like music, mud and sea creatures, you are bound to have a great time.
San Jose is celebrating Earth Day & Arbor Day at History Park San Jose. The family festivities Saturday April 20 include children’s activities, a Spring Egg Hunt and music by Linda Trungali. Admission to the Park is free.
Celebrate this Earth Day the right way with the Baylands Earth Day festivities that will have you GREEN with Earth envy! Stop by the EcoCenter Nature Preserve in Palo Alto, Saturday April 20 for a free and family fun filled day of activities. Meet a live animal up close, go on a guided Audubon hike, net a bay fish, go on a scavenger hunt with prizes and much, much more!
Join Westwind Barn in Los Altos for their annual Earth Day Celebration Sunday afternoon April 21. There will be a “Live Wild Cats” education presentation, exhibits by local environmental organizations, committees and school groups, and electric cars on display. Perhaps even do a bit of ‘Green’ shopping!
The J. Lohr San Jose Wine Center is offering a special Down to Earth Vegetarian Wine Paired Dinner celebrating Earth Day, Sunday April 21. Enjoy a sumptuous five course gourmet wine-paired dinner catered by Chef Justin Perez of Justin’s Catering & Events. This all-vegetarian menu features distinctive courses each specially paired and prepared with a different J. Lohr Wine featuring selections from Napa, Monterey County and Paso Robles. Hosts Steve Lohr and Sustainability Coordinator Kathryn Teissier du Cros who will discuss J. Lohr’s experience and ongoing efforts in achieving and maintaining the California Certified Sustainable Winery designation, including efforts from the vineyard to the office. Seating is limited. Advance ticket purchase required.
The city of Santa Clara will hold an official Arbor Day & Earth Day celebration Friday, April 26 at the Triton Museum. Join members of the City Council, the Parks & Recreation Commission, City staff, students from local schools, and the local community for a celebration that will include Tree City award presentation from the National Arbor Day Foundation, guest speakers, information on tree care and inspirational ideas for our planet.
Make your Earth Day a Weekend Retreat at the Biltmore Hotel & Suites in Silicon Valley’s Santa Clara. In the Spirit of Earth Day, the Biltmore is proud to be distinguished as a Green Power Partner Hotel. As the Biltmore takes steps to lessen its environmental impact, they currently purchase green power in amounts that reach the EPA’s requirements. Green power is electricity generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, low-impact biomass and low-impact hydro resources. Book your stay today and relax in executive-style accommodations appointed with designer furnishings, luxury amenities and entertainment extras that will ensure you enjoy a memorable and comfort-filled stay in the Santa Clara/Silicon Valley area. Don’t forget that California’s Great America is now open for the season so why not add some thrills and excitement while you are in the neighborhood!
After all, ‘The earth is what we all have in common’.
— Wendell Berry