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Free and Kid Friendly. No RSVP Necessary.

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.

RSVP required.

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.”

Learn More Here.

Free and Kid Friendly. No RSVP Necessary.

4. Harlem Grown’s Earth Day Celebration


Harlem Grown

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.”

Learn More Here.

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.

Learn More Here.

Free. No RSVP Required. Show up on time and bring water and a light snack.

6. Earth Day Fashion Show


EventBrite

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.

Register here.

Price: Between $23- $33. RSVP Required.

7. Audubon Society’s Earth Day Celebration in Prospect Park


Gowanus Lounge

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.

Register here.

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.

Learn More Here.

Free and Kid Friendly. Show up on time and bring water and a light snack.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Katrine Tilgaard Petersen

Microsoft has announced the single largest corporate purchase of solar power ever seen in the U.S., signing an agreement with sPower to add 315 MW of electricity via two solar projects in Virginia.

By Katrine Tilgaard Petersen

Microsoft has announced the single largest corporate purchase of solar power ever seen in the U.S., signing an agreement with sPower to add 315 MW of electricity via two solar projects in Virginia.

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.”

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The Climate Group CEO Helen Clarkson discusses the crucial role of non-state actors in advancing climate action at COP23. The Climate Group / Twitter

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.

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.

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