Earth Day is Monday, April 22. It’s a great time to celebrate and teach our children the importance of preserving our planet’s resources. There are plenty of ways to observe the occasion here in Marin and the Bay Area, and we've created a list of local events that either celebrate Earth Day or help families learn about nature and the planet.
Earth Day with the Insect Discovery Lab at the Mill Valley Library Friday, April 19, 3:30-4:30 pm
Celebrate Earth Day with amazing rainforest insects, millipedes, walking sticks, and more! Meet and touch live insects and find out why they are so important to our environment. For age 5 and up. No sign-up needed. For more info, call 415-389-4292 x4741.
Earth Day at Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary Saturday, April 20, 9 am–1 pm Celebrate Earth Day by bringing your family and friends for a morning of naturalist led explorations, bird watching, restoration and clean-up. Learn about our bay and bird conservation and our importance in the Pacific Flyway. Even the wildflowers should be out in full force to brighten the day! Activities are appropriate for all ages, including young children. Children 10 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
Mrs. T's Mill Valley Beautification Day
Saturday, April 20, 9 am–noon All ages and ability levels are welcome to come and help with the beautification projects all over Mill Valley. You can help make Mill Valley both clean and green by participating in litter brigades and beautification projects at area parks, schools, and designated locations around town.
Novato Clean & Green Day 2013
Saturday, April 20, 9 am-1 pm
Bring the family and celebrate Earth Day by cleaning up our beautiful town. Help remove litter from streets, bike path, parks, creek banks and more. Some supplies will be provided. Location: Meet at Scottsdale Pond Gazebo
Earth Day at Bloomfield Farms U-Pick
Saturday and Sunday, April 20 and 21, 10 am–2 pm
It's a special Earth Day edition of U-Pick! Come to Bloomfield Farms in western Sonoma County where you and your family can pick your own certified organic produce, including dinosaur kale, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, artichokes, and more! This Eath Day weekend, kids can take part in bee-related arts and crafts, and plant their own veggie start to take home! $30 for large box of produce; cash only. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
While many think of heading out to Point Reyes for whale watching in the winter, it's also possible to get a glimpse of another fascinating aquatic creature in Marin County: the coho salmon. Winter, from approximately late November through February, is spawning season for the endangered coho salmon, and West Marin's Lagunitas Creek is home to one of the largest populations of wild coho in California. There are several places along the creek where you can view these magnificent fish on their final journey upstream.
January is one of the best times to go look for coho in Lagunitas Creek, especially a few days after a rainstorm. Salmon can range in size from two to three feet, and the spawning males turn a bright red color and develop a hooked upper jaw called a "kype." Spawning female coho are a darker, more muted red with a white tail. Salmon fresh from the Pacific which haven't yet developed their spawning colors are a gray or olive color. You may also see steelhead trout in the creek; both male and female steelheads are silver with black-spotted backs and pink stripe down the side.
Coho salmon spend the majority of their lives in the Pacific Ocean, but travel back to the freshwater streams where they were born to spawn. After spawning, the adult salmon die and the life cycle begins again. Young coho hatch in the fresh water, where they live for about a year until they make their trip downstream to the ocean.
As December draws to a close and the New Year begins, the time comes bid farewell to your Christmas tree. It's a sad but inevitable fact of life that your tree has to go at some point, unless of course you have an artificial Christmas tree, in which case you can probably stop reading right here.
Fortunately, your local disposal agency is usually more than happy to take your dried out old Noble Fir off your hands and do the green thing with the tree by recycling it. If for some reason you can't leave your tree out by the curb with your yard waste, you can drop it off at a number of different locations, including most fire houses, throughout Marin County.
Keep in mind that you need to remove all ornaments, lights, tinsel, and plastic tree bags from the tree before you put it out for pick up. (Don't forget to remove metal or plastic stands, too.)
Here's a rundown of Christmas tree disposal details for communities in Marin:
For Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Las Gallinas Valley, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Ross Valley (Sleepy Hollow and Oak Manor): Trees will be collected at the curb on your regular yard waste pickup day during the month of January. If trees are greater than 6 feet in length, please cut them in half. Remove all metal stands, plastic tree bags, and ornaments. Flocked trees will not be accepted.
Marin Sanitary customers may drop off up to two Christmas trees during the month of January at the Marin Resource Recovery Center at 565 Jacoby Street in San Rafael. Drop-off is free, but a fee will be charged for flocked trees.
Mill Valley Refuse
For Almonte, Alto, Belvedere, Corte Madera, Mill Valley, Homestead, Strawberry, and Tiburon: Place trees along curb on any regular green can collection day, starting the week after New Year’s. Trees must be cut in five-foot lengths. Flocked trees are OK. Trees put out by garbage cans will not be picked up.
Get rid of those old Halloween costumes and find "new" ones at the Marin Costume Swap and Green Halloween Celebration, this Saturday, October 6. Presented by EcoMom Alliance, this fun-filled day encouraging a healthy Halloween season takes place from 9 am to 2 pm at Marin Country Mart in Larkspur Landing.
The event features music by family entertainers Ali Weiss and Warren Mann, organic and GMO-free treats (take home your favorite samples!), a special talk by the Center for Food Safety’s Rebecca Spector, and of course a costume swap celebration.
What is a costume swap, exactly? It's when you bring in your child's costume from last year and trade it in for a "new-to-you" costume. Reduce, reuse, recycle—and keep those old costumes out of the landfill!
In the spring, lovers of wildlife and wildflowers head to the Point Reyes National Seashore to experience the area's abundance of both. One of our go-to spots for an outdoors outing in Point Reyes is Chimney Rock, where you can see both amazing widlflowers and massive Northern Elephant Seals lounging on the beach below the cliffs.
Also worth visiting here is the historic Chimney Rock Lifeboat Station, where Coast Guard crews set out to rescue victims of the many shipwrecks off the coast of Point Reyes. We visited over Spring Break, and wildflowers are starting to appear all over—in coming weeks it should be pretty amazing, especially after our recent rains.
If you visit Chimney Rock in the late winter or spring, your first destination upon arrival should be the Elephant Seal Overlook. It's a short hike on a well maintained gravel trail overlooking Drakes Bay, about 1/2 mile round trip between the parking area and the overlook. The overlook at the end of the trail gives you an unsurpassed view of the Elephant Seal colony on the beach below.
With spring upon us, Laurel Fertility Care offers some tips on how to improve your chances for motherhood by being good to both yourself and Mother Earth.
This spring, clean Mother Earth while improving your chances of motherhood. “Women trying to conceive often forget the importance of taking care of themselves,” commented Dr. Lee Kao. “We often see patients who are so focused on caring for everything else that they actually decrease their success by not focusing on themselves first.”
On behalf of Laurel Fertility Care, below are four tips to help you on your journey to motherhood while making the Earth a better place to grow your family.
Clean your kitchen: increase your veggies; decrease your red meat. Researchers reported that “shifting entirely from an average American diet to a vegetable-based diet would reduce the same emissions as 8,000 miles driven per year.” Harvard doctors suggest in The Fertility Diet to replace one meal of red meat with veggies per week to increase your fertility success.
Earth Day is Friday, April 22. It’s a great time to celebrate and teach our children the importance of preserving our planet’s resources. Teaching our children a few simple habits will help them to grow up preserving the environment through their daily activities. There are many small things your kids can do every day to keep the world cleaner and greener.
Earth Day ideas and activities
Plant a tree or flowers in the garden. Take your children to a local nursery and pick out a small tree or some flowers that you can plant in your yard or garden. Explain to your children that trees and plants reduce the greenhouse gases and give us cleaner air.
Use both sides of paper when coloring. Teach your children that when they are doing art projects, like coloring, to use both sides of the paper. Explain to them that using the paper more than once will help save trees.
Reuse & Recycle. Get the children involved when it comes to recycling and explain to them why it is important. Show them the different types of items that can be recycled and have them help separate trash from recyclables.
Conserve water. Turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth. As much as 2 gallons of water is wasted when the water is left running while you are brushing your teeth. Also, limit the amount of time when washing hands or in the shower. The best way to teach your kids is by being a good example. Just because we've had plenty of rain this season doesn't mean water is a limitless resource.
Turn off the lights. Explain to your children that lights, computers, and televisions use energy, and that energy is in short supply, so turning off the lights or TV when they are not in the room is important.
Presenting an Earth Day guest post by Marin mom and homeschooling parent Barbara McVeigh. Read more of her writings on her blog, Bsimplicity.com.
Our planet Earth, our home—it’s a spinning ball sustaining up to a 100 million life species and hanging suspended-like in a vast vacuum. It’s the ultimate marvelous concept when you really stop and think about it. And, lucky for us, we have a day marked to do just that.
Earth Day started as a grassroots effort over forty years ago by a small band of folks. Now the celebrated day is living proof that small efforts can grow tremendously into great changes. Last year over 500 million people and over 175 countries participated in Earth Day activities helping our planet, our home, be healthy.
Marin is offering lots of opportunities for families to participate in stewardship efforts, including those to help our watershed, wildlife habitats and community gardens or Earth Day again this year.
Speak to Me, Marin's premiere series of intelligent, inspiring speaking events for women, presents "The Story of Stuff: Creating a Sustainable Future" with Annie Leonard, author and creator of the video The Story of Stuff on January 11, 2011, from 6:30–9:30 pm.
Annie Leonard has brilliantly combined analysis of the economy, culture, and the environment to transform the way we think about our lives and our relationship to the planet, while offering hope that change is within reach. In 2007 her remarkably simple, yet powerful and engaging 20-minute web video, The Story of Stuff, quickly went viral and became one of the most successful environmental-themed videos of all time, with over 20 million viewers in more than 200 countries. She has been named one of the “Five Most Important Environmental Movement Leaders” by the Washington Examiner, an “Environmental Hero” by TIME Magazine, and has appeared on The Colbert Report among other talk shows.