These Clever Earth Day Celebrations Will Inspire Your Events Year Round
Back in April 1970, the first-ever Earth Day was started as a way to protest the negative impacts of industrial development on the environment. Now, nearly 50 years later, Earth Day is a globally recognized event, with an estimated 1 billion people in 192 countries taking part in the world’s largest civic-focused day of action. Monday, April 22 this year is the official day of celebration, but anyone in the events and travel industry can take inspiration from these programs and events to keep a more planet-focused mindset year round.
With that in mind, here’s a round-up of what hotels, cities and organizations are doing next week for Earth Day.
Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa in Monterey, California, will give out “Plant Your Pencil” amenities to the first 100 guests who check in that day — these items are just what they sound like, and come in five varieties like basil, cilantro and mint. (Borrow this idea to use as a swag-bag or room-drop item that won’t get left behind!) Additionally, the hotel will feature live music in its Fireplace Lounge from 7-10 p.m., during which the lights will dim to save electricity and sustainable wine will be served.
Italy’s Bettoja Hotels Collection will remove all plastic bottles from its three hotels (Hotel Mediterraneo, Hotel Massimo D’Azeglio and Hotel Atlantico) beginning on Earth Day. It will also turn off all the lights for one minute in the halls of each hotel on April 22 to show its commitment to the environment, and diners at its Ristorante Massimo D’Azeglio will dine by candlelight that day.
Together with The Celebration of the Sea Foundation, Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort will host an Earth Day celebration open to the public featuring beach clean-ups at the resort’s neighboring beach park; experiences with a first-of-its-kind virtual reality tour of the artificial reefs, Lady Luck and Okinawa shipwrecks; and deployment of artificial reef structures off the beach to improve local marine life.
Who knew that Earth Day could be an excuse to buy new shoes? Sea Star Beachwear’s new waterproof espadrilles, with a colorful sole made from up-cycled materials from its factory, are both comfortable (great for travel or the beach!) and purposeful. A portion of proceeds benefit Ocean Sole Africa, a social enterprise that up-cycles more than 750,000 washed up flip-flops in Kenya each year.
Event services company GES will celebrate for more than a day, honoring an Earth Week in its flagship Las Vegas office. As part of a donation drive, it will have bins for Center for the Blind (e-waste such as computers and TVs), Opportunity Village (household goods, clothing, shoes), Animal Foundation (household linens and towels) and Dress for Success (gently used women’s fashions). It will also recognize Bring Your Child to Work Day on April 25, on which employees will have the chance to educate their children on GES’ sustainability practice. More than 50 children are expected to attend.
On April 22, New York City’s Classic Harbor Line is hosting the AIA Urban Ecology Tour, a nautical excursion in conjunction with the American Institute of Architecture NY that is part educational and part sightseeing adventure. Led by architect Arthur Platt, the cruise will last just under three hours and fully circumnavigate the island of Manhattan. All passengers receive a complimentary drink to enjoy alongside Executive Chef Wendy Crispell’s locally sourced, seasonal fare, like spring strudel stuffed with fresh vegetables.
Held the weekend following Earth Day, the St. Louis Earth Day Festival is one of the largest celebrations of the day in the U.S. Expected to draw about 60,000 people, it will take place in the city’s beautiful Forest Park and host more than 200 vendors sharing information about Earth-friendly resources, products and services. In addition, three stages of entertainment and many food booths will provide a fun experience for the entire family.
Arlo Hotels will host its second-annual Spring Fest celebration, an eco-friendly festival in honor of Earth Day, on April 20-21. Featuring eco-friendly pop-up shopping, wellness services (like yoga classes and essential oil workshops) and more, the free event will be open to the public and take place at Arlo SoHo (New York City) and Nautilus by Arlo (Miami Beach).
Asilomar Conference Grounds in California will host a special Earth Day Discover Walk on April 21 at 1:30 p.m. at Asilomar State Beach led by California State Park Rangers. On this walk, participants will meet at the tide pools to identify animals and plants that call the pools home, and also learn about tips for protecting and saving this area.
The ninth-annual EARTHx2019, which claims to be the world’s largest environmental experience with more than 137,000 attendees expected, will take place in Dallas on April 26-28. The weekend will be filled with music, film, exhibitions, interactive experiences, food, drinks and more. A key focus is creating an engaging atmosphere for thought and experiential learning, with programs like an “ask the experts” booth, virtual reality journeys, eco-friendly workshops and even goat yoga classes.
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio will celebrate all the earth has to offer on April 27, beginning at 9 a.m. The day will feature learning opportunities for visitors about improving life for all creatures, as well as special games, performances and animal viewings. Kids will also be able to explore the zoo and see animals get special Earth Day treats.