Earth Day has a storied history. It was founded in 1970, as polluted rivers were catching fire, biodiversity was rapidly declining and smog was a fact of life in cities throughout the U.S. That year, an astounding twenty million people decided they had had enough. Together, they threw one of the largest protests in history in the form of activities and festivals where they protested environmental degradation and also celebrated Earth's bounty.
Since 1970, Earth Day has spread far beyond the U.S. Last year, an estimated 1 billion people participated in Earth Day events in more than 192 countries. Together, they fought to establish a greener world with more trees, cleaner water, cleaner air and less greenhouse gas emissions.
In honor of this year's Earth Day, we've got together a list of events and volunteer opportunities occurring across NYC this Earth Day that members of Climate Week NYC are looking forward to the most.
1. Earth Day 5K Green Tour 2018
Earth Day Initiative
Saturday, April 21, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Soundview Park, Morrison Ave and Lafayette Ave, Bronx, NY 10473
This tour from the Earth Day Initiative is a fantastic way to get outside on Earth Day and get involved with some of the great green groups around NYC. Sites this year include:
- A living green wall.
- A Broadway theater that's going green.
- A solar energy tutorial.
- An upcycling planting activity with sustainable beauty brand Innisfree.
- Lunch provided by Ancolie.
You'll travel from site to site and learn about what each group is doing on the ground to help green the city. The tour is great for school groups, employee engagement teams or anyone who wants to learn more about some of the environmental work being done right around the corner.
Price: between $33- $50. RSVP here.
2. Bronx River Cleanup
NYC Government Parks
Saturday, April 21, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Soundview Park, Morrison Ave and Lafayette Ave, Bronx, NY 10473
Enjoy the outdoors and a nice workout at this event. In honor of Earth Day, the Bronx River Alliance and United Blue are hosting a volunteer-focused event to clean up the Soundview Park. The Soundview Park's beautiful bank is polluted by debris and trash that is threatening the health of animals and the water quality.
Please Note: registration is required. RSVP here.
Free. RSVP Necessary.
3. Family Art Project: Earth Day Gratitude Garden
NYC Government Parks
Saturday, April 21, between 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
649 W 249th St, Bronx, NY 10471 (On the corner of Independence Ave. and West 249th Street)
At this kid-focused event, participate in Earth Day with your child in an engaging way. Activities include creating a miniature garden using clay, and planting a paper flag of what your child is thankful for in a communal "gratitude garden."
Free and Kid Friendly. No RSVP Necessary.
4. Harlem Grown's Earth Day Celebration
Saturday April 21, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
3 different locations (all within walking distance of each other):
- 134th Street Farm: 118 W 134th Street Manhattan, NY 10030
- 127th Street Farm: 77 127th Street Manhattan, NY 10030
- 131st Street Farm: 34 W 131st Street
Love getting your hands dirty? Well, this is the event for you. Harlem Grow, a charity focused on city farming, is hosting their beloved annual Earth Day event across three farms in Upper Manhattan. According to Harlem Grow, the event will include a variety of family friendly activities focused on making Harlem a "little greener."
Free and Kid Friendly. No RSVP Necessary.
5. Earth Day Hike: Flushing Meadows Corona Park
NYC Government Parks
Sunday April 22, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
There is nature everywhere, even in a city as crowded as New York. Don't believe it? The Urban Park Rangers will attempt to prove you wrong this Earth Day during a free Earth Day Hike where they will reveal the hidden gems of NYC's parks.
Free. No RSVP Required. Show up on time and bring water and a light snack.
6. Earth Day Fashion Show
Sunday, April 22, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Legendary Republic, 258 Johnson Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
Love the environment, but more interested in fashion than hiking? Look no further than the annual Earth Day Fashion Show hosted by the New School. The fashion show, held between 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm, showcases local designers focused on producing sustainable fashion pieces. The Fashion Show costs between $23 and $33 dollars and fills up fast, so make sure to register sooner rather than later for this innovative fashion event.
Price: Between $23- $33. RSVP Required.
7. Audubon Society's Earth Day Celebration in Prospect Park
Sunday April 22, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Attend the Audubon Center's 25th Earth Day Celebration at the scenic Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY. Activities include fishing lessons from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, and a tour of 'Raptors at the Boathouse' by wildlife specialists from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm. Fun Fact: Frederick Law Olmstead, the architect of Central Park, believed Prospect Park was his masterpiece. He considered Central Park to be a trial run and believed he corrected his most egregious mistakes of Central Park's design in his design of Prospect Park.
Free and Kid Friendly. RSVP Required.
8. Earth Day Hike: Inwood Hill Park
NYC Government Parks
Sunday, April 22, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Payson Avenue and Dyckman Street in Inwood Hill Park (Manhattan)
Celebrate this Earth Day by participating in a scenic tour of Inwood Hill Park, home to the last natural forest and salt marsh in New York City. Led by the city's famous Urban Park Rangers, you will surely learn a lot about New York City's history and see some gems.
Free and Kid Friendly. Show up on time and bring water and a light snack.
By Katrine Tilgaard Petersen
Microsoft has been powered by 100 percent renewable electricity since 2014. In 2015, the tech giant joined RE100, a global corporate leadership initiative by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, now bringing together 130 ambitious companies committed to sourcing entirely renewable power.
In 2016, Microsoft set further ambitious targets to source clean electricity for its data centers directly from local sources of energy; 50 percent by the end of 2018 and 60 percent by early 2020.
Raising the company's total renewable energy portfolio to 1.2GW, the new agreement with sPower puts Microsoft firmly on track to meet these goals, whilst simultaneously supporting the growth of the solar industry in Virginia.
"Huge congratulations to Microsoft on a great achievement. This is powerful leadership from a RE100 pioneer—bringing new solar capacity onto the grid will both benefit their business strategy and accelerate a market shift to renewables," said Sam Kimmins, head of RE100.
He added, "This project is a clear illustration of how supportive policy environments enable corporate renewable electricity off-takers to invest at scale, driving competitiveness and speeding up the transition to a zero emissions economy."
Harnessing the Power of the Sun
When fully operational, the Pleinmont I and II projects will consist of more than 750,000 solar panels spread across more than 2,000 acres, producing approximately 715,00 MWh per year. They are part of a larger 500 MW solar project, the biggest solar development in Virginia.
"This project means more than just gigawatts, because our commitment is broader than transforming our own operations; it's also about helping others access more renewable energy," said Brad Smith, president of Microsoft.
As costs of wind and solar power fall rapidly and approach grid parity, businesses are increasingly seeing the benefits of investing in renewable electricity to source both their own energy needs and facilitate more clean power coming onto the grid.
A recent RE100 Progress and Insights Report reveals the rise of corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) as a method for such procurement, with the use of PPAs increasing fourfold amongst RE100 members in one year.
Governments and Businesses Working Together
Recent research for the RE100 initiative shows the greatest increase in PPAs is seen in regions where legislative frameworks are most favorable, notably the U.S., Mexico, the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands.
With Virginia being a signatory of the Under2 Coalition, a global network of sub-national governments committed to climate action for which The Climate Group acts as secretariat, the state has expanded significant efforts to cut emissions and drive clean energy investment. Working with Microsoft to facilitate new solar capacity entering onto the grid is part of this process.
"When companies like Microsoft invest in Virginia solar, they opt for clean and reliable energy as well as new jobs in the energy economy we are working hard to build," said Gov. Ralph Northam.
"I am proud that Microsoft is expanding its commitment to solar energy in Virginia, and I look forward to building upon this victory for clean energy and the jobs that come with it."
Basak Gurbuz Derman / Moment / Getty Images
Your body's immune system is the natural, front line defense to protect you against harmful pathogens and infections. You can boost the effectiveness of your immune system through diet and exercise, but did you know that certain multivitamins can aid your immune system and promote general wellness? Here are our recommendations of the top supplements to help boost your immune system.
What is the Immune System?
There are two main aspects to the immune system: the innate and the adaptive immune system. The innate immune system is one you are born with, and it is the body's rapid response system. It works to attack antigens or invaders in the body. The adaptive or acquired immune system builds antibodies to protect your body from certain microbes, or germs, it encounters in the environment.
Did you know that your immune system keeps track of each germ it has ever defeated? This way, if your body encounters a germ it has fought in its immune system before, it can recognize and protect your body from it more effectively.
Your immune system's memory of the germs it encounters is stored in white blood cells. The white blood cells move through the blood and tissue in your body and attack harmful invaders such as viruses and bacteria.
Fortunately, you can support and improve the effectiveness of your immune system by maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, drinking alcohol in moderation, and getting a proper amount of sleep. Taking melatonin can help you get better sleep, which will in turn support immune health.
A daily vitamin subscription is a great way to promote overall wellness, which includes your immune system. Your skin also plays a role in your immune system, and you can take certain vitamins and supplements for dry skin to help it stay hydrated and healthy. Additionally, the microbiome found in your digestive system is important to proper immune function. Probiotics and digestive enzymes can both help improve your digestion and boost your immune system.
Our Top 5 Supplements to Boost Immune Health
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
- Best Overall - Nested Naturals Elderberry Gummies
- Best Vitamin Bites for Immune Health - GEM Immunity Support
- Best Probiotic for Immune Health - Care/of Pocket Protector
- Best Gummies for Immune Health - Bulletproof Immune Gummies
- Best Immune Spray - Beekeeper's Naturals B.Immune Throat Spray
- Best for Vitamin C - NutraOne Immune One
- Best Zinc Supplement - Global Healing Liquid Zinc
- Best Herbal Option- Vital Plan Daily Herbal Supplement
Vitamins and Minerals that Support the Immune System
It's no secret that certain vitamins and supplements can aid your immune system to fight off potentially harmful infections. Here are some that stand out.
- Elderberry: There are around 30 different types of elder plants and trees globally. Sambucus nigra is the type that helps with healing and immune health. Elderberry consists of many vitamins and antioxidants.
- Vitamin C: Your body doesn't naturally produce Vitamin C. However, it has proven to have immense health benefits. Vitamin C helps the immune system's white blood cell production.
- Zinc: This supplement helps produce new immune system cells in your body.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D helps to regulate the body's immune system.
- Vitamin E: This antioxidant is fat-soluble and helps protect cells from harmful 'free radicals' which are unstable atoms that can cause damage to cells; this response can lead to illness.
- Reishi mushrooms: There are three molecules in reishi mushrooms that are responsible for their health effects: triterpenoids, polysaccharides, and peptidoglycans. Studies have found that reishi mushrooms may be able to change the inflammation pathways in white blood cells.
Best Overall: Nested Naturals Elderberry Gummies
These Nested Naturals Elderberry gummies include a vegan blend of vitamin C and Zinc to ensure thriving immune health. The blend of elderberry extract, vitamin C, and zinc can also provide wellness during travel and during the change of seasons.Why buy: We like these Elderberry gummies because they contain around 100 mg of elderberry extract per gummy, and are vegan, gluten-free, and go through a four-part lab testing process. They also taste great and contain less than a gram of sugar each.
Best Vitamin Bites for Immune Health: GEM Immunity Support
GEM Immunity Essentials daily vitamin bites are an easy and delicious way to help boost your immune system. Each vitamin bite is made with real food ingredients including turmeric, pumpkin seeds, black pepper, chicory root, ginger root, stone fruit, oranges, and lemons.
Why buy: We love that these GEM vitamin chews provide a complete immune-boosting vitamin profile from natural, plant-based ingredients. GEM also offers a sustainable subscription model that sends you a reusable tin with your first order and refills in compostable pouches.
Best Probiotic for Immune Health: Care/of Pocket Protector
Care/of Pocket Protector is a travel-ready probiotic powder that allows you to boost your immune system anywhere, anytime. It contains 3 billion CFUs of good bacteria strains for your gut to help support proper immune system functioning.
Why buy: We like that this probiotic powder is designed for on-the-go immune support, and that it comes in a red berry flavor. This immune-boosting probiotic powder is also non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegetarian.
Best Gummies for Immune Health: Bulletproof Immune Gummies
If you don't like swallowing pills or powders, try these Bulletproof Immune Gummies instead. They contain key nutrients like vitamin C, zinc, elderberry extract, and echinacea extract to support your immune system in a sugar-free Raspberry and Elderberry flavor.
Why buy: We like that these vitamin gummies for immune support contain high concentrations of vitamin C and zinc. They are also vegan and sugar-free, with only 5 calories per gummy, but taste great from natural flavors and stevia-leaf extract.
Best Immune Spray: Beekeeper's Naturals B.Immune Throat Spray
A unique way to boost your immune system, Beekeeper's Naturals B.Immune Throat Spray harnesses the power of bee propolis extract. This is a substance bees make out of tree and plant resins to help protect their hive from germs and infections, and it contains over 300 different nutrients, antioxidants, and minerals.
Why buy: We like that this spray offers a fast and natural way to help enhance your immune system. You can also use it to soothe a sore throat. It's made from all-natural ingredients and is certified keto and paleo-friendly.
Best for Vitamin C: NutraOne ImmuneOne
5 Star Nutrition has an array of quality vitamins, minerals, and supplements. For immune health, we recommend the ImmuneOne supplement. It's formulated with vitamin C, elderberry, and echinacea to help improve overall wellness, with the added benefit of supporting lung health.Why buy: ImmuneOne includes 1000 mg of vitamin C, as well as elderberry, Zinc, and vitamin A. We like that this supplement is made with natural ingredients like cinnamon, echinacea, and ginseng, without any artificial additives.
Best Zinc Supplement: Global Healing Liquid Zinc
Every cell in your body uses Zinc, and it's an effective mineral to boost your immune system. It also helps the digestive system, and even encourages cell growth. Zinc is also great for skin complexion, sexual health, and supporting normal blood sugar.
Why buy: Global Healing Plant-Based Zinc is vegan, certified USDA organic, gluten-free, and is not tested on animals. We like that this Zinc is plant based and all natural. The Zinc is extracted from organic guava leaves, and comes with a one-year money-back guarantee.
Best Herbal Option: Vital Plan Daily Herbal
The Daily Herbal blend by Vital Plan is a unique herbal supplement created by Dr. Bill Rawls. His formula "works at the cellular level to address the modern-day stress factors associated with accelerated aging." The blend includes medicinal mushrooms, as well as Rhodiola and Turmeric extract.Why buy: Daily Herbal includes five adaptogenic ingredients designed to support cell resilience, immune response, and microbiome balance. It can also boost energy and endurance because of the Rhodiola extract. The product is gluten and dairy free, and is also tested at a third-party lab for ingredient purity verification.
How to Choose an Immune Supplement or Multivitamin
There are a few key aspects to look out for when shopping for immune supplements. Below is a list of what to look for when shopping for a supplement to help boost your immune system.
What to Look For
When comparing different brands of immune supplements, look for these things before you buy.
Clinical Research: Many immune supplements will inform you if they're clinically researched formulas, or formulated by doctors.
Transparency: Some supplement brands list all of the vitamins and minerals they use in the formula of their supplement. It's important to know exactly what you're ingesting, and where it came from.
Lab Testing: To guarantee what you're consuming is pure, and safe, look too see if a brand had their product tested at a third-party lab.
Non-Artificial Ingredients: Immune supplements with natural, non-artificial ingredients that are plant-derived or organic are always a good choice. If the brand uses animal products, check to see that they are sourced ethically and sustainably.
How to Read Labels
When reading the label of your supplement, be sure to notice the serving size. Oftentimes, the recommended serving size for a supplement is larger than simply taking one capsule or multivitamin. Some labels will specify the best time of day to take the supplement as well. Also take note of the ingredient list, and how much of the recommended daily intake it fulfills for certain vitamins and nutrients
It's also important to double check that the supplement was tested in a third-party lab for safety and quality. Note if the supplement is non-GMO, vegan, or gluten free. Many supplements will also tell you if it is free from certain allergens like soy and dairy.
Safety & Side Effects
Ingesting the right oral immune boosting supplements may be beneficial to your overall health. However, there are a few minor side effects to be aware of. Some common side effects of immune boosting supplements may include:
- Intense abdominal pain
Other, infrequent side effects may include:
- Pain in arms or legs
- Chest pain
- Abdominal bloating
Sometimes, when certain vitamins are ingested without food can cause stomach pain. Be sure to read the label to see if you should take an immune supplement with food and to be sure that you do not take more than the recommended amount. Most side effects from vitamin supplements are a result of taking too much at one time.
Certain vitamin and mineral supplements can interact with prescription medications. If you take prescription medicines, or are undergoing prescribed treatment for a condition, consult with your doctor before taking any additional supplements.
There are number of ways to help boost wellness and support a healthy immune system, and adding an extra immune-boosting supplement may help. Use our guide to find the best multivitamin or supplement to boost your immune system, and learn whether or not you should consider a supplement for immune health.
Audrey Nakagawa is the content creator intern at EcoWatch. She is a senior at James Madison University studying Media, Art, and Design, with a concentration in journalism. She's a reporter for The Breeze in the culture section and writes features on Harrisonburg artists, album reviews, and topics related to mental health and the environment. She was also a contributor for Virginia Reports where she reported on the impact that COVID-19 had on college students.
By Mike Peirce
The Conference of the Parties (COP) is a place for policy and a place for deals. But the COP is also a moment in time—a chance for the wider climate community to reflect on progress towards a clean energy transition, to challenge the terms of the debate, and to put forward ideas, money and commitments to action.
For those not spending the time marching the kilometer or more between the negotiators' Bula Zone and the Bonn Zone—stopping off at the U.S. Climate Action Pavilion on the way—you can still feel the surge in interest: a flurry of state-of-the-world journalism, the publication of academic and practitioner research, and pronouncements from political leaders and campaigners.
The Climate Group's work takes place at this spot on the border of the negotiations. We know from our work with business leaders and policymakers that climate action is happening outside of the negotiating room as much as in it, with leading sub-national governments and major companies accelerating the transition to a zero-emissions economy.
At the close of last week and through the weekend, the Bonn conference hosted a succession of debates, structured thematically as Energy Day, Transport Day and Industry Day. Over these three days, the COP crowd heard a series of new commitments and statements of progress across three areas of action that we believe define 21st century business leadership—renewables, energy productivity, and electric mobility.
The Climate Group's business programs—RE100 (renewables), EP100 (energy productivity) and EV100 (electric vehicles)—are focused on these three key areas. By bringing together leading businesses making the highest levels of commitments, they are designed to create demand signals that can shift markets in favor of clean technologies, as well as influence the wider policy landscape.
Why are these campaigns needed? The simple answer is that large companies are major consumers of energy; they are vehicle fleet owners and bulk purchasers; and they are landlords and owners of much of the urban built environment. Through their procurement and management decisions, these businesses—collectively—can quickly shape and re-configure markets. Our campaigns seek to harness this power to help accelerate the clean energy transition by getting corporates to make ambitious commitments.
EV100 provides a platform for companies to showcase their electric vehicle leadership, enabling them to reduce investment costs through best practice sharing, and engage in dialogue with governments and other stakeholders to collaboratively address the remaining barriers. And on Energy Day, four businesses from New Zealand, Japan and the Netherlands committed to transition to electric vehicles by 2030, joining the ten companies that formed the launch group for the campaign in September.
On the same day, RE100 announced a new joiner, the international consultancy and construction company Mace, which strives to create more sustainable cities and communities. This UK-based company is committed to achieving 100 percent renewable electricity globally by 2022. More significantly, as the 115th member of RE100, the company joins a group which now generates demand for more than 153TWh of renewable electricity annually—more than it takes to power Poland.
The contribution of EVs to the energy transition is of course highly dependent on the supply of renewable energy. Equally, the role of renewables is maximized when companies are able to radically reduce the consumption of energy for every unit of output or value created. This ambition to enhance the productivity of energy is at the heart of the EP100 campaign. And Energy Day also heard from one of India's leading cement producers, Dalmia Cement, who announced that the company is already almost halfway towards its goal of doubling its energy productivity by 2030. The company has one of the lowest carbon footprints of cement production globally.
In the next few days, we will wait to hear the impact of these and other announcements on the COP negotiations. The continued momentum we're seeing should provide the spark and reassurance needed to drive greater ambition among policymakers But the most distinctive message is that the action is continuing apace in any case. Why? Because it makes business sense. Forward-thinking companies are acting now to ready their operations for the future, while responding to consumer demand. With the backing of policymakers at COP23, they will be inspired to move even faster.