curated by Sara Maher
Spring might not show up in time for Earth Day on April 22, but there are still plenty of reasons to celebrate our world. Help out your fellow humans by going green, donating to a good cause, or promoting art in all of its wonderful forms.
Party for the Planet
You can mix celebration with education at Earth Day New York 2017 in Union Square, hosted by the Earth Day Initiative. This year’s event is extra special as it doubles as the kickoff for the Initiative’s Count to 50 Campaign, a countdown to the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Learn about local environmental campaigns, try eco-friendly products, donate used clothing and electronics, and sample sustainable snacks while enjoying live music and children’s activities. If you’re ready to take action, bring your utility bill to the Initiative’s booth, switch to clean energy, and get $25 off your next bill.
• F downtown to 14 St and walk east to Union Square. Tue Apr 18, 12-7pm. Free. earthdayinitiative.org/earth-day-new-york-2017.
Blooms Not Bombs
Know a spot that could use a little more green? Join the Lower East Side Ecology Center for the Elizabeth Street Garden Seed Bomb Workshop and get to work. First, find out what makes healthy soil by learning about the soil-nutrient cycle and the role of compost in encouraging plant growth. Once you’re sure how to pick the perfect place, combine compost, clay, and native wildflower seeds into seed bombs, perfect for tossing into those down-in-the-dumps dirt patches.
• F downtown to 2 Av and walk southwest to the Elizabeth Street Garden (203 Elizabeth St). Sat Apr 22, 1-2pm. Free but registration required. Info and registration: lesecologycenter.org.
Clothes for a Cause
If you want to support Earth Day without having to handle actual earth, head to Buffalo Exchange for its annual Earth Day $1 Sale. A large selection of clothing, accessories, and jewelry will go on sale for $1 each, with proceeds going to the Humane Society of the United States. And be sure to bring a tote – since 1994, Buffalo Exchange has chosen not to give out plastic bags (keeping 13.1 million bags out of landfills, according to the company). Instead, you’ll get a token to donate five cents to a charity of your choosing.
• Various locations throughout the city; F-accessible locations are in Chelsea (F downtown to 23 St and walk northwest to 114 W 26th St) and Boerum Hill (F downtown to Bergen St and walk northwest to 109 Boerum Pl). Sat Apr 22, during store hours. www.buffaloexchange.com/events.
Art for All
Even in a city with limited green space, there are endless possibilities for how it can be utilized. The Parks Without Borders Discussion Series, hosted by NYC Parks, explores possible uses for future parks and public spaces, as well as ideas for building greener parks and healthier communities. In honor of the 50th anniversary of putting art in NYC Parks, five art programmers, artists, and advocates will contemplate How Can Art Activate Public Space? and discuss the challenges facing public art today.
• F downtown to 63 St-Lexington Av and walk northwest to The Arsenal (830 Fifth Av, 3rd Floor). Wed Apr 26, 6-8pm. Free but registration required. Info and registration: tinyurl.com/l6p98bv.
Pocket Full of Sunshine
Poem in Your Pocket Day, on April 27, celebrates National Poetry Month by asking people to select a poem and carry it with them throughout the day, sharing it with others as they go. It’s also the day you can head to Bryant Park to listen as students from New York City schools read their latest writing. Bryant Park’s 15th Annual Poem in Your Pocket Day Open Mic kicks off the Reading Room’s 2017 literary series. I can think of far worse ways to spend a lunch hour than a poetry reading enjoyed from under a tree.
• F downtown to 42 St-Bryant Park and go to the Reading Room inside the park. Thu Apr 27, 10:30am-1:30pm. Free. Open Mic event info: tinyurl.com/piyp2017; Poem in Your Pocket Day info: poets.org/national-poetry-month.
A Folking Fun Time
Not a big fan of plants or poetry? How about folk music? Presented by the Jalopy Theatre & School of Music, a community space that also serves as a music school, performance venue, instrument store, and record label, The Brooklyn Folk Festival “strives to present the best in American and world folk music.” Musicians come from all over the world to appreciate the storytelling tradition of folk music and its diversity throughout cultures. There’s also film screenings, workshops, a family square dance, and whatever the “famous Banjo Toss” contest is.
• F downtown to Jay St-MetroTech and walk northwest to St. Ann’s Church (157 Montague St). Apr 28-30, various times. Passes $20-85. brooklynfolkfest.com.