The first Earth Day, held April 22, 1970, kick-started a global movement.
Growing from 20 million Americans to more than 1 billion global participants, Earth Day is the largest civic observance in the world, according to Earth Day Network.
With the passage of landmark laws such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act, among others, it goes well beyond what the average person does daily, yet any hope for global change starts at home — it's cyclical.
There are numerous ways to make a difference, and you'll have the opportunity to learn about many of those options at local events celebrating Earth Day.
Charleston County will hold its 14th annual Earth Day Festival on Saturday at Riverfront Park in North Charleston.
From 11 a.m.-4 p.m., learn about environmental issues in a celebratory atmosphere with hands-on science-based interactive experiences designed to “encourage participants of all ages to develop a deeper understanding of environmental issues.”
This year's theme is “One Earth, One Future!”
The event will include free electronic waste drop-off, free paper shredding services, a Goodwill donation drop-off, a Composting Awareness Center and more.
In addition to the educational aspects, the free event will include a Kids Zone, complete with face-painting, a jump castle, animals, art projects and science experiments; a food court featuring local food trucks; an interactive stage schedule featuring members of the Blue Dogs; and adoptable animals from Pet Helpers.
For more information about the festival, including a park and ride shuttle, go to www.charlestoncounty.org or call 720-7111.
Catherine and Frank Middleton will be hosting The Nature Conservancy's South Carolina chapter celebration as part of the global Picnic for the Earth event.
At 6691 Point Farm Road on Wadmalaw Island, celebrate Earth Day with this two-day event.
At noon Saturday, guest speaker Mary Edna Fraser, a local batik artist, will discuss how nature has inspired her work in her talk titled “From Local to Global: An Artist's Inspiration for Conservation.”
While the Saturday event may be out of reach for many (the suggested donation is $100), Sunday's event is priced at $25 in advance, $35 the day of.
From 4-6 p.m. Sunday, enjoy a special concert by Shannon Whitworth, who sold out a show at the Dock Street Theatre only a couple of months ago. The event will be held rain or shine, and alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages will be available for purchase.
For information on Saturday's event, contact Melinda Ottaviano at 803-254-9049, ext. 35, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For details on Sunday's concert, contact Shari Wibert at 803-254-9049, ext. 43, or email@example.com.
Kiawah Island's newest neighborhood, Indigo Park, will play host to multiple Earth Day events.
The first will be 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Attendees will enjoy a panel discussion from leading experts in the fields of alternative energy and real estate development, tour the 2013 HGTV Dream Home and have the chance to test drive the Tesla Model S.
The second event will be 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday as Kiawah Island Real Estate celebrates the launch of Indigo Park with light island fare and live entertainment.
Learn about the 16 green-conscious homes in Indigo Park, which is aiming to become the first LEED Certified community within a residential resort. Find out more at www.Kiawah.com/IndigoPark.
Another event set for Saturday is a Nature Adventures Outfitters hike of the Awendaw Passage of the Palmetto Trail.
Take a hike along the waterside and maritime forest trail, which should serve as a reminder of what we're out to save with Earth Day.
Find out more at www.fws.gov/seweecenter or by calling 568-3222.