Earth Day is just around the corner, and there will be no shortage of fun, nature-celebrating events to choose from in New York City! Roll up your sleeves and get knee-deep in mulch while planting trees with JetBlue and the New York Restoration Project, or learn a thing or two about sustainability at the Green Festivals conference. We’ve pulled together a tantalizing selection of eco-tastic events that kick-off Earth Day for an entire weekend of fun. Click through our gallery to discover them all!
Get a head start on your Earth Day party plans in style! Eco-Chick.com will be hosting a sustainable spring fashion presentation on the 18th featuring an array of local NYC designers. Take a gander at collections from Feral Childe, Study New York, Auralis and more. Did we mention that there will be vegan food and organic cocktails as well as a goodie bag? RSVP with your name and the number of friends you plan on bringing. (Free., April 18th, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m., Green Spaces NYC).
Friday nights are made for dancing and perfect for turning up the music in celebration of Mother Earth. Party like an eco-conscious rock star with Urban Green Energy (UGE) — a leading renewable energy provider — at NYC sustainable nightclub Greenhouse. You’ll get a chance to dance next to a wind turbine and walk the green carpet if you arrive by 9 p.m. There’s a pay-what-you-like donation cover with 100% of the profits benefiting the PUMUI organization — an educating hospital staff in Liberia. RSVP in advance as you can only get in if you’re on the guest list. (April 19th, 9 p.m. – 12 a.m., Greenhouse).
Party with a purpose during the largest green-living event in the country. In its second year at the Jacob Javitz Center in Manhattan, the Green Festivals will feature a variety of keynote speakers, hands-on demonstrations and workshops, sustainable fashion from designers across the country including New York’s own Eileen Fisher, an organic beer and wine garden and live music. Purchase a day pass or enjoy the entire weekend. Kids 18 years and under get in free making this a no-brainer for families looking for a great way to bond and learn environmentalism. ($10 – $32 passes, April 20-21, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday, Jacob Javitz Center).
Pack a blanket and grab some green in Central Park for a not-your-average picnic excursion. Holistic aesthetician Meg Hagar, in conjunction with the Nature Conservancy’s Picnic for Earth Campaign, invites the public to learn how to get gorgeous skin from whole, natural foods that come from the Earth. You’ll also get an opportunity to munch on free snacks, share your own, and learn about the rising cost of food around the world. (Free., April 20th, 1 to 3 p.m., Central Park, Inside 66th Street entrance at 5th Avenue.)
Grab a few friends and help to restore a portion of the many trees the city lost to the wrath of Hurricane Sandy. Join the 500+ community volunteers that will spend an entire weekend adding 2,400 trees in Highland Park. They’ll provide the water, t-shirts and even breakfast and lunch for all of your hard work. But you have to register in advance so they know you’re coming. (Free., April 20th, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Highland Park)
Spend time being good to the earth. Join over 4,000 volunteers to clean up local parks, community gardens and other green spaces throughout New York City. Meet new friends and discover a new gem in the city. Register to join this Spring volunteer event with your friends or even invite your entire office. (Free., April 20th, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
This annual Earth Day festival is for the young, old and even the dragons! Enjoy an afternoon of live music and dance performances, art, giant puppets, and e-waste recycling. Whether rain or shine, this community staple will bring out the crowds to enjoy a fun day of conscious living. (Free., Apr. 20th. Noon to 8 p.m. Tompkinsville Park, Staten Island.)
Learn about the environment in the heart of the city’s most cherished public spaces. Celebrate Earth Day in Union Square on April 21st and stick around for frenzy of live performances and exhibits throughout the day. You can also catch family-friendly happenings uptown at Grand Central throughout the weekend. All events are free and open to the public. (Free., April 21st, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m, Union Square)
Make the earth a better place at Prospect Park’s Audubon Center. Participate in a tour, help clean up the lakeshore, make a recycled instrument and even watch a performance by Bash the Trash. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will even be on the scene to discuss responsible fishing. (Free., April 21st, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m., Prospect Park)
Become an environmental steward and drop in on a High Line volunteer session to discover the many ways you can get involved. Learn to tend to plants, lead a walking tour or simply lend a helping hand during special events, there’s always a space for you to join in on the effort. (April 22nd, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., 10th Avenue Square)