Earth Day 2013 Freebies & Events

 Wednesday, April 17, 2013

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Earth Day is just around the corner, on Monday, April 22, 2013. Here are ways you can celebrate (and donate!) locally. 

Earth Day Events:
  • Earth Week at St. Edward's University - April 16 - 23. Earth Week 2013 is free and open to the public. Activities include screen printing t-shirts, free Jo's Coffee when you bring your own mug, and a clothing swap party (Friday, from 2 - 4 p.m.). Most of the events will take place on St. Edward's University campus on 3001 S. Congress Ave. Austin, TX 78704.
  • "Get Up, Get Green" 2013 East Austin Garden Fair - April 20, from 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. The East Austin Garden Fair will be held at Parque Zaragoza. The fair is free and open to the public. The 2013 fair,“Get Up, Get Green!", will feature numerous booths, activities, and classes under the areas of Horticulture, Family Health & Nutrition, Greening Your Home, and Kiddos. This fair will be very fun, hands-on and interactive. There will be an assortment of DIY and demonstration activities, including make your own container garden station, produce tastings, garden planning, theatrical skits, cooking demonstrations, and free seedlings offered to participants. Mini-classes will also be held inside the Zaragosa community center throughout the day. 2608 Gonzales St., 78702.
  • Butterfly Festival (Wimberley) - Saturday, April 20, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Come to the EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens for a day of fun. The festival features the live release of 3000 butterflies (cages released every 30 minutes throughout the day for a total of 3000 butterflies); opening ceremonies at the Veterans Memorial Plaza; a Commemorative Air Force flyover (weather permitting); displays of butterfly art; carnival games and crafts; concessions; guided nature walks by the Hays County Master Naturalists in celebration of Earth Day; and live music. Admission is free. Donations are gratefully accepted and concession/game tickets may be purchased.
  • Earth Day Celebration at Kaleidoscope Toys (Round Rock) - Saturday, April 20, from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Decorate your own reususable bag to take home, play games using recyclable materials, enjoy tornado demos and mud dirt treats. Free.
  • Earth Day Storytime at Leander Public Library (Leander) - Saturday, April 20 at 10 a.m. Free.
  • The Great Cloth Diaper Change (Round Rock) - Saturday, April 20 at 10:30 a.m. Join thousands of others in over 15 countries in simultaneously changing babies' cloth diapers. This is a world record attempt that will be held at BabyEarth.
  • NB Kidsfest (New Braunfels) - Saturday, April 20, from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 21, from noon - 5 p.m. NB Kidsfest 2013's mission is to connect local businesses with local families by bringing all of the Hill Country’s best for families into one place for one weekend. With two great stages featuring over 40 performances by local kid talent, free Earth Day themed activity stations plus much more fun for kids, and vendors representing over 150 local, youth-centered organizations, this will be New Braunfels' largest-ever, kid-friendly, trade show style celebration. The cost of admission will be $3 per adult and $2 for children ages 3 to 17. All children ages 2 years of age and younger are free. The cost of admission will include entrance into the event and free parking as well as access to all performances for the day attended and access to all exhibits. Participation in approximately 90% of the activities at the various exhibits is included in the cost of admission. Rockin R River Rides at 1405 Gruene Road, New Braunfels.
  • Eco-Friendly T-Shirt Upcycling Show and Tell - Saturday, April 20, from 1-3 p.m. Celebrate Earth Day at your local Michaels store by learning how you can turn your old T-shirts into trendy and fashionable accessories. Free.
  • Austin Earth Day Celebration - Saturday, April 20, from noon - 7 p.m. A celebration with Speakers, Exhibits, Kid's Area with Petting Zoo, Theater, Music, Magic, Face Painting & Pony Rides, Local Bands, Workshops & Presentations, Food Trailers, Drum Circles & More. Free. Historic Browning Hangar, 4550 Mueller Central Dr., Austin.
  • Johnson's Backyard Garden Children in Panel Discussion - Sunday, April 21 at noon. Celebrate Earth Day with HOPE Farmers Market at Plaza Saltillo! Bring your blanket, grab some lunch, and join the discussion "What is it like to live on a farm?" with the kids of Johnson's Backyard Garden and HOPE Play. Answers will be spoken and drawn. HOPE Farmers Market, 412 Comal St, Austin.
  • A Conversation About the Environment - Monday, April 22 at 7:30 a.m. Join Laura Huffman of the Nature Conservancy, Bryan Shaw of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and James Marston of the Environmental Defense Fund for a special Earth Day conversation about the environment moderated by Tribune reporter Kate Galbraith. Free and open to the public. RSVP here.
  • Free Entrance Days in the National Parks - Monday, April 22 - Friday, April 26. Visit national parks fee-free. 
  • Earth Day Celebration at the San Marcos Springs - Saturday, April 27, from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Early morning yoga, a walking tour of Spring Lake Greenbelt, arts and crafts, live music, food vendors, Doc Edwards puppet show, and Folklorico dancers. Free admission. 
  • International Green Fest - Saturday, April 27, from 4-7 p.m. Spring family sustainable event. Come enjoy live entertainment, carnival games and eco-friendly activities, unstructured play area as well as food from around the world. Bring your electronic waste to be collected, and celebrate Earth Month! Admission is free. The Magellan International School, 7938 Great Northern Boulevard.
  • Craft Riot Clothing and Craft Supply Swap - Sunday, April 28, from noon - 5 p.m. Austin Craft Riot presents a Clothing and Craft Supply Swap. This fun event will give you the opportunity to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle! Come with a bag of donations, and swap for new-to-you items. You can also participate in a craft that turns old t-shirts into reusable totes! Get your spring cleaning finished, grab your friends, and join us for a good time! Gather your gently used clothing and goodies that can be used for crafting and bring to this fun, family friendly event! 10435 Burnet Rd, #106, Austin.
  • Really Really Free Market - Sunday, April 28, from 1 - 3 p.m. The market is a mixture of reuse, recycling, sharing and community building.  Chestnut Community Park, 2207 East 16th St (at Chestnut St).
Earth Day Freebies:

  • IKEA Round Rock - Saturday, April 20, starting at 9:30 a.m.  Free reusable blue bags to the first 200 adults in the door beginning at 9:30 a.m. While in the store, take advantage of Special One-Day offers.  In Smaland, there will be coloring projects for the kids.
  • Target - Sunday, April 21. Target Corp. says it will celebrate Earth Day by handing out 1.5 million free reusable bags. 250,000 of them will be filled with free samples. The store also plans to distribute sustainable product coupon books, offering up to $40 in savings.
  • Pottery Barn Kids -  Saturday, April 20 - Monday, April 22. Celebrate Earth Day with a free packet of seeds, while supplies last. Pottery Barn Kids is located in Barton Creek Mall. 
  • Disney Store - Monday, April 22. Bring five plastic bags into the store and exchange them for a Brave or Cars 2 reusable bag. One per person, while supplies last. Disney Store is located in Lakeline Mall. 
  • HEB - Monday, April 22, from 3 – 7 p.m. Customers who bring in 5 plastic bags to recycle will get 1 free special Earth Day reusable bag. One per customer, while supplies last.  You can also print a coupon for a free reusable bag with the purchase of Earthwise Mesh Produce Sacks.
Ways to Donate: 
  • Project Green Garage - Saturday, April 20, from 8 - 11 a.m. This Earth Day weekend, Aquasana needs your help to reduce pollutants in Austin's source water. On Saturday, April 20, they're hosting Project Green Garage, an event that allows Austin and Travis County residents the opportunity to clear their garages, storage sheds and supply closets of batteries, used motor oil, paint and anti-freeze. They will then transport those items to Austin Resource Recovery's facility for recycling and proper disposal. Keeping these harmful items out of landfills lessens the negative environmental impact it can have including contamination of our water resources. Four Hands Furniture Outlet Parking Lot, 2020 West Anderson Lane, Austin.
  • AISD Community Electronic Waste Recycling Drive - April 20, from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.  Austin ISD is teaming up with ERT and ARC to help its families and the surrounding communities to dispose of electronic waste responsibly by introducing the AISD Community Electronic Waste Recycling Program. The kick-off event will be held on Saturday, April 20 in celebration of Earth Day. Participating schools in the district will host outdoor drop-off stations. Families and other community members (including local businesses) are encouraged to drop off their unwanted computers, laptops, monitors, printers, cell phones, etc. for the benefit of the schools. Adult and student volunteers supervised by ARC/ERT personnel will operate the collection stations. Ongoing collection dates will be scheduled during the school year. ERT certifies that 100% of all materials collected will be recycled and not end up in our landfills. After expenses, schools will earn 25% of the returns on marketable recyclables (working technology items less than 5 years old). Schools hosting drop-off stations are:
    • Gullett Elementary School
    • Bryker Woods Elementary School
    • Barton Hills Elementary School
    • Cunningham Elementary
    • Summitt Elementary School
    • Reilly Elementary School
    • Kealing Middle School
    • Small Middle School
    • Gorzycki Middle School
    • Akins High School
    • Eastside Memorial High School
    • Travis High School
  • Austin Earth Day - Saturday, April 20, from noon - 7 p.m. ERT, in partnership with the City of Austin and Texas Green Network, would like to offer a public electronic recycling collection at this year’s Earth Day Festival! Come responsibly recycle your obsolete electronics near the main parking area before enjoying this year’s festivities. For more information email or visit us at
  • Austin Mini Maker Faire - Austin Mini Maker Faire needs your broken electronics! Austin Tinkering School will be doing deconstruction in the Tinkering Workshop area at the Faire and they need lots of donations. They prefer DVD and CD players, desktop computers, tape players, and the like. They cannot accept microwaves, computer or TV monitors, laptops, cellphones, toasters/toaster ovens, blenders, speakers, etc. Only electronics that are clean and have lots of interesting stuff inside. Message Austin Mini Maker Faire on Facebook for drop off info.
  • Give 5% to Mother Earth Campaign - Monday, April 22. Give 5% to Mother Earth is a collaboration between Hill Country Conservancy, Texas Land Conservancy, Austin Parks Foundation,Tree Folks, Friends of Barton Springs Pool, Urban Roots, and Clean Water Fund. It is a campaign designed to encourage local businesses to commit to donate five percent of gross sales on Earth Day to these non-profits. Join hundreds of businesses around town to make a significant difference for our community! By eating, shopping, playing, and sipping at these businesses on Monday, you will be making a big difference for these environmental groups.

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