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San Diego Earth Day Promotes Awareness of the Environment

Julia Murphy, Staff Writer

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Every year, the San Diego Earth Day fair (a nonprofit organization) is hosted in Balboa Park to support and raise awareness of the environment. This year’s Earth Fair was on Sunday, April 23 at from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

According to the San Diego EarthWorks official website, the annual Earth Fair is the largest free annual environmental fair in the world. Produced by 300 volunteers, this year’s twenty eighth annual Earth Fair featured more than 300 exhibitors, special theme areas, a Food Pavilion, a special Children’s Activity Area, four entertainment venues, the Children’s Earth Parade, the Earth Gallery arts and crafts show, and the Cleaner Car Concourse (earthdayweb.org).

Chief Financial Officer for San Diego EarthWorks Chris Klein explained how beneficial attending the Earth Fair is. Klein said, “San Diegans want to lead more sustainable lives, and support a clean, healthy environment. They just don’t always know what to do. Each Earth Fair exhibitor has a product, service or cause that addresses some aspect of how to improve the environment and our quality of life. They just need an effective way to communicate this with the public.”

“A couple of years ago my family and I attended Balboa Park’s Earth Fair. When I first arrived, I thought it would be really boring and repetitive but in reality it wasn’t. I learned a lot about the environment, and I really recommend people to attend the Earth Fair in upcoming years,” said Senior Lisa Finburgh.

“Earth Fair brings groups together at a festive, family-friendly event. The goal is that each Earth Fair attendee goes home knowing something that will inform the way they conduct their lives, for the betterment of the world we share,” explained Klein.

According to the San Diego EarthWorks official website, another goal for the Earth Fair is to be a zero-waste event, meaning that everything that is discarded is either recycled, reused, or composted. An event the size of the Earth Fair can generate tons of waste. Last year, this event diverted ninety percent of Earth Fair waste from the landfill. When people are at this event and they have something to discard, they should look for one of the thirty Zero Waste Stations with the black, blue and green containers. A “trash talker” at each station will help make sure all discards go in the right bin, and can answer any recycling questions (earthdayweb.org).

According to Klein, San Diego EarthWorks originated in 1989 as the San Diego Earth Day Coalition, one year before the twentieth anniversary of Earth Day. “When I joined the planning group in late 1989, the expectation was that we would have a couple of dozen exhibitors and maybe a few thousand visitors. It was a real surprise when the Mayor’s office offered the opinion that we would probably get 20,000 or more, given the media exposure that Earth Day was expected to get. This was clearly a game worth playing. The first Earth Fair, in 1990, was the largest single-day event ever held in Balboa Park, with 50,000 attendees. Every Earth Fair has hosted between 40,000 and 70,000 visitors, with the typical number being 50,000 to 60,000,” said Klein. “The first Earth Fair had about two hundred exhibitors. Recently, this number has grown to about three hundred and forty,” he continued.

“Even though I haven’t attended the Earth Fair, the idea behind it sounds awesome. I now plan on going,” said Freshman Reagan Malthaner.

According to the San Diego EarthWorks official website, there were multiple ways to participate in this event. As a visitor, they just had to show up, as it is free event. As an exhibitor, people had the opportunity to share a product, service, or cause that would be beneficial to the purpose of the Earth Fair. As a volunteer, people could help out for a few hours, take on a major responsibility, or something in between. As a sponsor, people donated money to help keep Earth Fair up and running (earthdayweb.org).

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San Diego Earth Day Promotes Awareness of the Environment