Every year, the AlexRenew team looks forward to celebrating Earth Day. It’s a time of year to reflect on all the ways we rely upon and interact with our environment, and remind ourselves to do everything in our power to preserve this amazing planet that we call home. It’s also a great time to challenge yourself by finding ways to reduce your carbon footprint and practice water conservation. Most importantly, we recall the history of this global event as we call upon ourselves to take action and do something positive to support environmental protection.
The first Earth Day, which took place on April 22, 1970, was a response to an oil spill that sent over three million gallons of oil into the ocean off the coast of Santa Barbara, CA. Environmental advocates gathered to protest and call for the creation of environmental regulations and educational programs. Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson was flying near the area at the time and could see the 800 square mile oil spill from his airplane. This inspired him to call for the establishment of Earth Day as a federally sanctioned day.
Today, Earth Day includes over 193 events around the world that are all coordinated by the Earth Day Network to promote environmental awareness. AlexRenew participates in Alexandria’s Earth Day event each year with our water partners – the City of Alexandria and Virginia American Water – along with other community partners. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, April 27, from 10am until 2pm, at Lenny Harris Memorial Fields at Braddock Park in Alexandria. The theme is Climate Change: Take Action! We believe it’s especially important to get involved in local projects and environmental efforts in our own community, and we are proud to stand together with our neighbors as we advocate for healthier waterways in Alexandria.
Since we are dedicated to clean waterways, we came up with a list of ways to incorporate water into your Earth Day activities. Here are a few ideas for you to help preserve our waterways and deepen your appreciation for our local environment:
- Attend Alexandria Earth Day 2019: Join us for educational exhibits, demonstrations, and hands-on activities for all ages to learn how they can better protect the environment. Come out for the fun and stop by our station to learn about our favorite water tips! This year’s event is Saturday, April 27, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Lenny Harris Memorial Fields at Braddock Park. You can learn more about the event here.
- Prepare for Drug Take Back Day: Saturday, April 27, is National Drug Take Back Day, where law enforcement agencies all over the country set up drop-off locations for individuals to properly dispose of expired and unused prescription medication. Flushing medication down the toilet or throwing it away in the trash harm our waterways and soil. Spend part of your Earth Day going through your medicine cabinet to see if you have anything that should be dropped off next weekend. You don’t have to miss Earth Day to participate: stop by on your way to or from the event. Here’s a list of locations.
- Use a natural herbicide to kill weeds: With the arrival of warmer weather, many Alexandrians are starting up their lawn care regimen for the year. Chief among the tasks is getting rid of any unwanted weeds. But before you pick up some chemicals to spray, consider a natural alternative. The chemicals go into the soil and absorbed into storm runoff, ultimately ending up in our waterways. The DIY at-home solutions help keep your lawn looking great and our waterways healthy!
- Visit a natural water attraction: Easy, right? Simply getting out and enjoying the natural beauty of our local waterways can have a profound impact on our appreciation for the environment and our commitment to preserving it. Stroll Old Towne’s waterfront, see the last riverine lighthouse at Jones Point Park or enjoy the 18 miles of the Mount Vernon Trail that runs alongside the Potomac River. Here’s a list of Alexandria’s parks, many of which are on the water.
We hope you can participate in at least one of these activities. Happy Earth Day from everyone at AlexRenew!