Things to Do

Earthbound: What to Do for Earth Day

Green is the new black—at least for one day—and Washington is making it easy to celebrate the planet this Earth Day, April 22. Read on for ways to celebrate.


Green Panel at the National Press Club
529 14th St., NW; 202-662-7500
Guests Ben Grumbles, assistant administrator for water at the Environmental Protection Agency; Richard Baier, director of transportation and environmental services for Alexandria; and Marisa Vertress, an environmental-policy analyst and social-justice minister at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Arlington, will discuss how better to protect the environment on local, national, and international levels. The free event begins at 10 AM; no reservations required.

Java Shack
2507 N. Franklin Rd., Arlington; 703-527-9556
Sip an organic, fair-trade coffee or tea while you learn about some of the environmentally friendly accoutrements and recycling techniques this green-certified cafe showcases. Owner Dale Roberts will share his knowledge from noon to 3. (Lectures will also be given throughout the day on Saturday, April 19.) Put your name into a raffle and win a compact fluorescent bulb or water aerator (a faucet attachment designed to save water and money).

2nd Annual Climate Super Rally
To celebrate Earth Day, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network and the 1Sky campaign are sponsoring a night of speakers including climate scientist James Hansen. The event will be held at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium (730 21st St., NW) from 7 to 9 PM. Tickets ($15) can be purchased at
Author Lester Brown at Busboys and Poets
2021 14th St., NW; 202-387-7638
Lester Brown will sign and promote his book Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization. The book discusses climate change and advocates for a stronger initiative than what governments are currently undertaking. The event begins at 6 PM.

Ici Urban Bistro in the Sofitel
806 15th St., NW; 202-730-8700
On Earth Day, 5 percent of this restaurant’s lunch and dinner proceeds will go toward Habitat for Humanity. Reservations are preferred.

Willard InterContinental Green Celebration
1401 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-628-9100
Help the hotel celebrate Earth Day by helping clean Pershing Park (across from the Willard InterContinental), trading in your standard light bulbs for compact fluorescents, clearing your pantry for the food drive (taking place all week, with donations going to the Earth Conservation Corps), and taking a load off by getting a free mini-massage. Activities take place from 11 AM to 2 PM.

Firefly Restaurant
1310 New Hampshire Ave., NW; 202-861-1310
This Dupont Circle eatery has put together an organically and locally grown three-course menu ($35) with fare such as roasted chicken (from a local farm) and a blood-orange sorbet served with a salty oat cookie. Firefly features tables made from reclaimed wood, has always composted its waste, and uses compostable take-home packaging.

Shop at Whole Foods
Multiple locations in DC, Maryland, and Virginia;
In January, Whole Foods promised to eliminate the use of plastic bags in its 270 stores throughout the States, Canada, and the United Kingdom by Earth Day. If successful, the chain will be the first US supermarket to do so. At the checkout, recycled paper bags will be used, but Whole Foods encourages patrons to invest in reusable bags and offers a refund of 5 to 10 cents for those who do.


Alexandria Earth Day
Ben Brenman Park, 4800 Brenman Park Dr., Alexandria
Now in its 15th year, this festival will take place Saturday, April 26, rain or shine (rain location: Samuel Tucker Elementary School, 453 Ferdinand Day Dr.) and has promised to be a zero-waste and carbon-neutral event. Activities, under the theme “What’s Your Footprint?,” will include collections of recyclable material, a green-home fair, and a puppet performance by Blue Sky Puppets. Visit

Performance of Some Make It Hot
Sitar Arts Center, 1700 Kalorama Rd., NW
City in a Swamp Productions, a DC comedy group, has put together a musical, with an original score and lyrics, addressing the state of environmental politics. Performances are Friday, April 23, through Sunday, May 11. Visit for ticket information.

Montgomery County Earth Day Family Fair
850 Hungerford Dr., Rockville
On Saturday, April 26, tour Montgomery County’s recycling center to learn about recycling and environmentally friendly homes, vehicles, and landscaping techniques; pick up your own compost bin (while supplies last); and take part in many other activities. The fair runs from 11 AM to 3 PM, rain or shine. Enjoy it as a guest or volunteer your time to help run the event. Visit for more information.

Anacostia River Cleanup and Celebration
On Saturday, April 26, from 8:30 AM to noon, volunteer with the Anacostia Watershed Society and help keep the river clean. Cleanups take place up and down the watershed from Kenilworth Park and Kingman Island to Beaverdam Creek to Long Branch Park. A rally with free food and entertainment will be held from noon to 2 at Seafarers Yacht Club 1950 M St., SE).

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