ASHEVILLE NC – If you’re looking for the ultimate Earth Day celebration this year, you’ve come to the right place. SaveOnEnergy.com has scoured the country in search for the best cities to visit this year for Earth Day. When it comes to celebrating all that’s green, these cities are going above and beyond all the rest.
1. Austin, TX
Austin is known for being an all-around green city so it should come as no surprise that the city does it up right for Earth Day. The free Austin Earth Day Festival, which takes place April 26, will have more than 75 booths, a handful of environmental speakers, sustainable demonstrations, countless kids’ activities and entertainment including Bollywood and Flamenco dancers.
Even Austin businesses take part in Earth Day celebrations. On April 22, dozens of business will contribute to the Give 5% To Mother Earth campaign. Participating business will donate 5 percent of their profits on Earth Day to seven environmental nonprofits in the area.
2. St. Louis, MO
St. Louis offer’s one of the nation’s largest Earth Day events, with 30,000 to 40,000 attendees each year. The city kicks off the party April 26 with food and live music. And on April 27 the celebration continues with a festival, which features sustainable products from local businesses as well as local musicians and performance artists. Part of the event’s draw is its recycling program, dubbed REX. Through the program, attendees can bring their hard-to-recycle items, such as bicycles, household fixtures and mattresses to recycle for free.
3. Philadelphia, PA
Philly will be teeming with Earth Day events for you to attend. The city’s largest Earth Day activity, the 5K for Clean Air, will take place April 19. The Penn Institute for Urban Research will host a free lecture “Mapping Our Global Future” on Earth Day. And the National Constitution Center will host its own Earth Day celebration. Eco-friendly organizations will be at the event to teach attendees about locally grown foods, preserving the park systems, protecting homes from toxins and what being green has to do with the Constitution.
4. Houston, TX
Houston isn’t waiting for Earth Day to start celebrating the planet. The city will host its Earth Day Houston festival on April 12 this year. The free event, sponsored by Waste Management, will focus on entertaining and educating families on the importance of sustainable living. Activities for children and adults will revolve around environmental awareness highlighting healthy living, wildlife, habitat, air, land, water and sustainability.
5. Asheville, NC
This small city, tucked in the mountainous region of North Carolina, is always a fun place for eco-enthusiasts to hang out. Not only does Asheville offer an abundance of outdoor activities, from hiking to kayaking, the city is vegetarian-friendly and places significance on carbon reduction. So it should come as no surprise that the city stretches its Earth Day activities over an entire week.
Asheville Earth Week is a 10-day event with a number of activities designed to promote sustainability, green living and environmental awareness. The festivities begin April 12 with a River Clean Up hosted by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and a number of earth-friendly activities will continue throughout the week. The city’s annual festival will take place April 19, complete with music, crafts and food vendors.
6. San Francisco, CA
When it comes to celebrating the planet, San Francisco won’t be left in the dust. The city is planning its fourth annual Earth Day event on April 19 and expects about 10,000 people to attend. Event-goers will hear from internationally recognized environmental speakers and can browse more than 80 booths featuring eco-friendly products. There will also be fashion shows displaying the latest eco-friendly fashions, organic food and beer served throughout the day, children’s activities and more.
7. Chicago, IL
If you’re looking for a variety of eco-friendly activities this Earth Day, the Windy City is the place to be. Those looking to volunteer might enjoy the city’s 25th annual Earth Day Parks and Preserves Clean-Up on April 26th. Just outside the city in Carol Stream, you’ll find a free Earth Day festival and farmers market, which will feature eco-friendly food, ideas, project and products on April 26. And along the lines of Earth Day, the Morton Arboretum will celebrate Arbor Day from April 13 to 27. Events include an Arbor Day 10K, costume contests, tree plantings and tram tours.
8. Baltimore, MD
There are just too many Earth Day options in Baltimore to fit in one day so the city has dedicated an entire week, April 18-26, to celebrate the planet. Throughout the week, you can take in a number of presentations on the environment, enjoy a family farm day, take part in a scavenger hunt or view a live cooking demonstration. The main event, Baltimore’s EcoFest, will cap the week’s celebration on April 26. Participants will get to taste local food and beer, tour green homes and take part in free yoga classes. Children will have plenty to do at the Kid’s Corner including crafts, reading circle and eco-friendly play space.
9. Santa Barbara, CA
If you’re already ready for some beach time, head to Santa Barbara for Earth Day. In addition to enjoying the area’s natural beauty you can attend the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival on April 26-27. The city was actually the inspiration for the very first Earth Day in 1970–following a large oil spill off it’s coast in 1969–and takes pride in its heritage at its annual Earth Day celebration. The event will feature local artists, designers, crafters and small businesses with plenty of booths for you to learn about living the green life. There will be a marketplace where you can pick up earth-friendly gifts for all of your friends, a green car show displaying the latest green automotive technology, and plenty of locally grown grub for you to snack on all day. For the little eco-enthusiasts in your life, make sure you check out the event’s kid’s corner.
10. Cincinnati, OH
Cincinnati is throwing a rocking Earth Day celebration too. The city’s festival, scheduled for April 19, will have more than a dozen events to help residents celebrate the planet. Some of the highlights include an Earth Day scavenger hunt, live music, an animal showcase and recycling games. Students in grades three through eight are invited to participate in a recycled costume contest. The student with the best costume, made out of recyclable materials, will win $100.