Thursday is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, a worldwide holiday founded by Sen. Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in, to inspire awareness and respect for the Earth. As global climate change threatens natural resources and biodiversity, a switch to a more eco-conscious, sustainable and healthy way of living is more vital than ever, according to supporters.
To commemorate the day, environmental groups and activists throughout Laguna Beach will hold events to educate the community, host clean-ups and other activities. So roll up your sleeves and grab a trash-picker, take a stroll through the wildflowers or head to down to the beach to give a great big hug and show our Mother some love.
?The California Coastal Commission will host a cleanup from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Crystal Cove State Park. Volunteers will help install a cable fence along the coastal trail, remove non-native plants and replace a fence at the El Morro picnic area. Check-in is at 8 a.m. at the Los Trancos parking lot. Long pants, boots, work gloves, sunscreen and a hat are recommended. For more information, contact Winter Bonnin at (949) 497-7647 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
?"Fresh," a film and grassroots movement toward healthier living, will be featured from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at South Coast Cinemas, 162 S. Coast Hwy. Produced by Swiss-born documentary filmmaker, Ana Joanes, the movie celebrates farmers, thinkers and business people across the U.S. who are reinventing our food system, and offers a practical vision for a future of our food and planet by forging healthier, sustainable alternatives. Tickets are $10 and can be bought at www.brownpapertickets.com or Laguna Cyclery, 240 Thalia St. For more information, visit www.freshthemovie.com.
?Help Blue Water will kick off its fourth annual Earth Day Beautification Celebration with a massive community cleanup from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday throughout Laguna Beach. Volunteers are asked to adopt a street, or section of a street, they wish to beautify. A speed sandcastle-building contest and skimboard exhibition featuring five-time world champion skimboarder Bill Bryan, and Skim Chicks founder, Pamela Simpson, will take place at noon at Aliso Beach. The organization will celebrate Earth Day with the world’s largest hug at noon Thursday at Aliso Beach and a concert featuring Sasha Evans and Soul Rebel Alliance from 7 to 11 p.m. at Club M, 680 S. Coast Hwy. High school students can receive community service hours for participation in the cleanup. Call (949) 573-8624 to claim your street. Parking passes and more event information are available at www.helpbluewater.com.
?Laguna Coast Wilderness Park will celebrate Earth Week with nature-inspired artwork and scenic strolls. Drop into Nix Nature Center from 10 to 10:45 a.m. Saturday and 1 to 1:45 p.m. Sunday for an earthy craft project and a short walk on Mary’s Trail. Hikers will meet at Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area. Reservations required, call (949) 923-2235. Parking: $3.
?The Susi Q Senior Center, 380 Third St., will commemorate the first anniversary of its Intrepid Travelers program with a trip to Crystal Cove and lunch at the Beachcomber at 10:45 a.m. Thursday. The community outreach travel program, launched on Earth Day last year, promotes “green" travel via mass transportation. Benefits are independence for participants, learning to use the bus as a first-resort travel option, camaraderie among “bus buddies," creating “sustainable seniors," mastery of public transportation and staying budget-friendly. For more information, call (949) 497-2441.
?Crystal Cove State Park Ranger Winter Bonnin will give a presentation for the first and second grades at 8:30 a.m. Thursday at El Morro Elementary School, where she will talk about watersheds and pollution. Students will learn about how trash in the ocean affects the animals that live there, and what they can do to help keep the beaches clean and animals safe. Parents and the community are invited to attend. Check in at the main office.
?ZeroTrash Laguna will celebrate Earth Week by educating Laguna’s youth about environmental responsibility and encouraging volunteerism throughout the community. Founder Chip McDermott and fellow ZT volunteer Eric Chevalier will give back-to-back “trash talks" at 11:15 a.m. and noon Tuesday at El Morro Elementary and Wednesday at Top of the World Elementary School. Assemblies will be followed by an Adopt your Campus cleanup. Parents and the community are invited to attend. Check in at the main office.
Volunteers who wish to embark on an independent cleanup during Earth Week can also grab a trash-picker from one of the organization’s Laguna sponsors: Whole Foods, El Ranchito, Hobie surf shop, Victoria Skimboards and Yogaworks.