How to celebrate Earth Day 2018 in the DC area

WASHINGTON — Earth Day lands on Sunday, April 22, and the focus this year is ending plastic pollution.

But there’s more you can do to celebrate the beautiful planet we call home than simply using a reusable water bottle.

The D.C. area boasts some pretty exciting events this weekend — some where you can learn about what’s putting our environment at risk, and others where you can actually get your hands dirty!

Check out how to spend your Earth Day weekend in the gallery below.

D.C. Join one of the Earth Day events sponsored by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser in the nation’s capital. Hosted by Uptown Main Street, the Community Alliance for Upper Fourteenth Street and the Kennedy Street Development Corporation, there’s a series of earth-saving hangs to choose from. A personal favorite? Plogging — the Swedish creation of jogging and picking up trash at the same time, according to the event page. Healthy for you and the planet — a win/win! But that’s not all: There’s also planting and mulching tree boxes, “sprucing” up a community park, a community art project and a block party that Bowser and D.C. Council member Brandon Todd will also be attending. See locations for each below. Date: Saturday, April 21
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Locations: -14th Street and Randolph Street NW for planting and mulching tree boxes -14th Street and Crittenden Street NW for planting and mulching tree boxes -14th Street and Kennedy Street NW to spruce up the community park -8th Street and Kennedy Street NW for a community art project -North Capitol Street and Kennedy Street NW for plogging -14th Street and Kennedy Street NW for the celebration
D.C. U.S.  Botanic Garden is celebrating Earth Day with its annual celebration, which boasts “hands-on activities” and meet and greets with representatives from environmental organizations. Date: Friday, April 20
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
National Garden at 100 Maryland Ave. SW (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)
D.C. The Smithsonian National Zoo is hosting its annual Earth Optimism Day on Earth Day! The event recently added NPR podcast “Wow in the World” host Mindy Thomas for an “interactive audience experience.” There will also be a series of opportunities to learn about certified sustainable products, coral conservation, wildlife conservation and more. Date: Saturday, April 21
Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: 30001 Connecticut Ave. NW (Courtesy Smithsonian National Zoo)
Prince George’s County and Montgomery County, Maryland Anacostia Watershed Society‘s annual Earth Day volunteer event is a big deal. According to its website, nearly 2,000 volunteers come out to 30 different locations to help clean the Anacostia River. All you need to do is register for a location through the website, then show up! Help serve your community and get an awesome shirt to prove how environmentally friendly you are. And afterward, shirt in tow, you can go to certain restaurants partnered with the event for a celebration! For more information, visit its website for FAQs. Date: Saturday, April 21
Time: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Courtesy Anacostia Watershed Society)
Annapolis, Maryland Friends of Quiet Waters Park is putting on its Third Annual Earth Day 5k, where everyone is welcome — children and pets included! Same-day registration is allowed and there will be festivities after, including refreshments and a random drawing. Top winners get prizes. The race benefits the Quiet Waters Park Nature Center Campaign, so come run (or walk) through the wooded parkland and help Quiet Waters. Local efforts can make a huge difference. Date: Sunday, April 22
Time: Race starts at 9 a.m.
Location: 600 Quiet Waters Park Road (Courtesy Friends of Quiet Waters Park)
Annapolis, Maryland GreenScape, hosted by the city of Annapolis, is a citywide beautification event in celebration of the planet. Every year since 1991, volunteers have come together in Annapolis to clean, plant and help the city. For more information on how to get involved and where to meet, email event coordinator Marisa Wittlinger. Date: Saturday, April 21
Time: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Courtesy City of Annapolis)
Alexandria, Virginia The city of Alexandria is putting on its own annual event. This year’s local theme is “local action, global impact.” The event boasts “educational exhibits,” demonstrations and hands-on activities, as well as the Upcycling Showcase, where students from the area will show their creative interpretations of Earth Day. Food vendors will also be around in case you get hungry learning how to help Mother Earth. The city’s event page shares information on how to get there in an environment-friendly manner, too. So if you’re busy Earth Day weekend, come out to Alexandria the following weekend and do your part! Date: Saturday, April 28
Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: 1001 Mount Vernon Ave. (Courtesy City of Alexandria)
Arlington, Virginia Arlington County takes it a step further with events all month long! Pick a day off, visit its calendar and see what’s going on in the county — including hikes, species-documenting and “clean-up by bikes.” The city also has a web page entirely dedicated on ways to get involved and be more environment-friendly year-round, including recycling tips, volunteer opportunities and how to go on a “car-free diet.” Go, Arlington! (Courtesy County of Arlington)
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