By Ansley Lewis
As Earth Day approaches, environmental activists are planning events to promote conservation.
Up first is the 11th annual Earth Day, co-sponsored by the Earth Day Committee and city of San Antonio, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at Woodlawn Lake Park, 1103 Cincinnati Ave.
District 1 trustee Joe Alderete Jr. has been the Earth Day chairman since 2003. Alderete said every day is Earth Day and it is important for youth to understand their impact on the environment. “The purpose of the event is to save the land, air and water — the land we use; the air we breathe; the water we drink,” he said.
Thousands of items will be given away to help encourage people to become more involved, he said.
Among the giveaways are 1,500 T-shirts promoting conservation; 1,500 indigenous low energy-consuming trees, such as elms, oaks and pecan; 1,500 low water-use plants; and 50 bicycles and helmets.
Along with trees, tree planting demonstrations are scheduled.
Alderete said the nation is producing more trees than it consumes and pointed out the Alamo Colleges are nearly 80 percent paperless.
“We have done an outstanding job in producing more forestation and more forests in the United States,” he said.
The event is vegetarian-themed with food provided by local vendors.
“When I said the food would be vegetarian, people were like, ‘what?’” Alderete said. “It’s amazing how many people don’t realize that even a burrito with tomato sauce, beans and vegetables can be considered vegetarian.”
He said San Antonio has among the highest U.S. rates of diabetes and obesity, and he hopes to promote a healthier lifestyle in conjunction with a 5K run.
“Saving the human species is keeping ourselves ‘in shape’ and teaching people to eat right,” Alderete said.
Other activities include recycling, water and energy conservation workshops as well as pet spay and neuter programs.
For more information, call Alderete at 210-434-6967 or visit the fiesta-sa.org website and look for Earth Day on the events calendar.
Alderete noted the time on the website is incorrect; the event is 9 a.m.-1 p.m.