Earth Day Events Spring Up Around the World

WASHINGTON, DC, April 20, 2007 (ENS) - On Sunday April 22, singer Sheryl Crow headlines an Earth Day service at Washington National Cathedral. Earth Day Network and Green Apple Music & Arts Festival offer music all weekend in New York, San Francisco and Chicago.
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Award-winning singer and cancer survivor Sheryl Crow shares the Washington National Cathedral Earth Day service with Richard Cizik, vice president of government affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals. (Photo credit unknown)
A bike ride to support eco-transport in Moscow, a "Bye-bye throw-away culture!" week in Beijing, and an underwater clean up in Egypt are a few of the thousands of Earth Day events happening around the world.

In Washington, DC, a climate action outreach to legislators began on Monday with a news conference at the National Press Club.

"This week, April 16th through the 20th, Earth Day Network is bringing new and diverse voices from across America to Capitol Hill to catalyze immediate action on climate," said EDN President Kathleen Rogers. "We want to talk about the health, economic, and social impacts of climate and our proposed solutions for inclusion in climate legislation."

The Earth Day Network aims to persuade lawmakers that a drastic cut in greenhouse gas emissions is required to avert the worst effects of global warming - 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

In New York City, the Earth Day presence has been felt since Sunday at Grand Central Terminal where many thousands of rail commuters come and go every day.

Giant Earth images illuminate the historic landmark's soaring main concourse with environmentally themed quotes, messages, photographs and graphic images contributed by artists such as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, Romero Britto and Rafal Olbinski. The show, projected onto two of the north columns in the concourse, is running 10 hours a day.

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Visitors to the Earth Fair at Grand Central Terminal in New York. (Photo courtesy Earth Day New York)
Today an Earth Fair opened at Grand Central showcasing environmentalists, youth, green companies, artists and musical performers with interactive exhibits that aim to educate and inspire New Yorkers to be conscious consumers and more active citizens.

Last year, it was the biggest Earth Day celebration in America. This year the Green Apple Music & Arts Festival is going to be much bigger.

From today through Sunday, 200 performances will take place in over 60 top music venues in New York City, Chicago and San Francisco.

Acts span all genres and include Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, American Idol winner Taylor Hicks, top children's act Laurie Berkner, a reunion by jazz fusion band Fat Mama, live electronica band The Disco Biscuits, The Decemberists, and reggae with Stephen Marley's band featuring Junior Gong.

On Earth Day, the Green Apple Music & Arts Festival will host large free events for all ages in the participating cities' finest parks including Central Park, the Lincoln Park Zoo, and Golden Gate Park.

In Chicago, the Green Festival Saturday and Sunday features more than 300 exhibits in the nation's largest eco-mall. Visitors can shop for everything from eco-fashion, natural home, and health products to solar panels and fair trade gifts and crafts.

A joint production of Global Exchange and Co-op America, the Green Festival features 150 speakers on five stages including Amy Goodman, host of the radio program "Democracy Now!" Greg Palast, author of "Armed Madhouse," and Frances Moore Lappé, author of "Hope's Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet."

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Kids dramatize Earth Day with puppets in a Kids Can Make a Difference project sponsored by Michigan's Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education at Michigan Technical University. (Photo courtesy MTU)
Across the country people are picking up litter, recycling obsolete electronics, creating Earth Day art and videos, showing films, attending concerts, holding block parties and fashion shows - in fact 10,084 events of all kinds are taking place in the United States.

Around the world, many thousands of events are being held to honor the Earth this weekend and on into May and June.

In London, England, the Savoy Hotel and Simpson's-in-the-Strand are joining in the Earth Day celebrations by creating a special cocktail which will be available in the American Bar and Knight's Bar over the weekend. Called a "Grass Roots" the drink is flavored with Polish hillside grass, better known as Bison Grass Vodka.

On Friday, the environmental charity Thames21 cleaned up the foreshore of the River Thames.

The London organization Waterwise has teamed up with Water Group Promotions to give away free water saving shower timers during Earthweek. The offer is available to the first 5,000 people to log on to the Waterwise website, www.waterwise.org.uk, on Monday.

Poster advertising the Critical Mass bike ride in Moscow on Sunday to celebrate Earth Day. Moscow police broke up a Critical Mass ride in 2005. (Photo courtesy Critical Mass Russia)
In Moscow, the group Carfree Russia is holding a festival Sunday that brings together people who love nature, bike-riding, and music and are eager to do something good for the environment. A Critical Mass bike ride in support of eco-transport finishes in Izmailovski Park where the festival continues with a concert at the park's solar stage, and organic, vegetarian food.

Elsewhere in Moscow, the group Airis Pro is holding an Earth Day festival within the framework of Moscow Midterm Eco Programme 2007-2008 and the city-sponsored Year of the Child 2007. Held at the historical monument Park Pobedy, this event is designed to bring public attention to global ecological issues.

In China's capital city, the group Global Village of Beijing will be busy through April 28 with "Bye-bye throw-away culture" Week. The group aims to convince shoppers to stop using so many plastic bags. It is estimated that Beijing consumes nearly 10 billion plastic bags annually, the equivalent of some 27 million bags per day.

"With the abundance of goods bought and sold in todays culture there is much waste generated unnecessarily without much attention. We want to help make people aware of the impact their lifestyle has on the environment and call upon them to reduce that impact by choosing a greener lifestyle," the group says.

On Earth Day, Chinese Central Television, Channel 1 will air a special TV program introducing stories and examples of climate change solutions in China.

In Egypt, an underwater reef cleanup is planned at the city of Sharm el-Sheikh on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula.

In addition, the Sol Y Mar Club Makadi in Hurghada, Egypt will hold a screening of Al Gore's climate change documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" with instant Arabic translation for 200 staff members of the resort, "to increase awareness and understanding on what is actually happening," said the resort's management.

In Iran, the Center for the Advancement of Rural Women is holding a village cleanup from today through Wednesday in conjunction with Global Youth Service Day and Earth Day. The Village Clean Up! initiative is designed to educate and mobilize youth, as well as raise environmental awareness about the impacts of garbage, especially plastics on the ecosystem.

In Afghanistan's capital city Kabul, university students will carry out a "landmark demonstration" for Earth Day that includes participants from national and international organizations working for environment protection, concerned government authorities, university teachers and local council representatives.

To find or list an event, visit the Earth Day Network website at: http://www.earthday.net