With COVID-19 impacting everyday life in countries all over the world, Earth Day celebrations are looking different this year. This Wednesday, April 22 marks the 50th annual Earth Day, and the City of Sacramento is celebrating digitally.
This year’s Earth Day theme is “climate action” and according to the Earth Day website, Wednesday will mark “24 hours of action in a global digital mobilization that drives actions big and small, gives diverse voices a platform and demands bold action for people and the planet.”
“Earth Day is a time to celebrate what we’ve accomplished as a City in terms of taking bold action for the planet,” said Jennifer Venema, City of Sacramento Sustainability Program Manager. “It’s also a time to reflect on the work that is still ahead of us.”
The City of Sacramento’s Ongoing Sustainability Efforts
Earth Day brings global attention to sustainability efforts, but the City works toward a greener Sacramento on a daily basis. In November 2019, the Sacramento City Council committed to reaching carbon neutrality by 2045 as a guiding principle for the 2040 General Plan, which is currently undergoing updates.
Mayor Darrell Steinberg further prioritized that goal by co-launching the Mayors’ Commission on Climate Change in partnership with Mayor Christopher Cabaldon of West Sacramento. The goal of the commission is to “develop a common vision and set of strategies for both cities to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions, referred to as Carbon Zero, by 2045,” to prepare for and combat the effects of climate change in our region.
The City continues to make strides toward a more sustainable Sacramento through various ongoing projects and initiatives including the Sac-to-Zero Green City Initiative), Electric Vehicle Initiatives, and incorporating environmental justice into the City’s General Plan and Climate Action Plan updates.
Sustainability, by nature, is interdisciplinary and should take a holistic view to tackling challenges and identifying solutions. The three key pillars include environment, economy, and equity. Therefore, the City has a wide variety of sustainability-related projects and programs, including through fleet management, curbside charging, the urban forestry, water use, energy procurement and more.
“This work is year-round for us at the City,” Venema explained. “On Earth Day, we love to see community members show how they are doing their part to create a more sustainable Sacramento.”
Get involved this Earth Day
This year, there are many ways to get involved with Earth Day from home, both locally and globally.
Climate Action Planning:
- The City has achieved a 19% in community-wide greenhouse gas emissions since 2005, exceeding the City goal for a 15% reduction by 2020. Click here to learn more about progress to date.
- Read about the City’s Climate Action Plan update, currently underway through the General Plan Update.
- Enjoy the City’s 336 miles of dedicated bikeway and scooting space (including 70 miles of paths and 260 miles of bike lanes, and 2 miles of protected bikeways). Do you know where to find them? They’re on this bikeway map.
- To learn more about transportation projects underway (like more miles of more parking protected bikeways), or the City’s Urban Biking and Scooting class, please visit: SacramentoBikes.org
Department of Utilities
- Track your water use from the palm of your hand. Check out Department of Utilities’ customer web portal to track water use and be #KeepSacWaterWise.
- Take advantage of rebates for smart irrigation controllers, transforming your turfgrass to a River Friendly Landscape, rain barrels, and more.
- Start planning your #SummerGarden! Whether you live in a single-family home or a duplex, we have a plan for you. Visit sacwaterwise.com for more ideas, plants and rebate information.
Department of Solid Waste
- The Recycling and Solid Waste Division has created a fun Recycle Right Activity Sheet that will entertain and teach kids how to recycle properly. There is also a challenging Waste Sorting Game you can play on its website or on your phone using the SacRecycle app.
- Get a Solar Education Kit for Free. Click here, watch a video, take a quiz and order the kit. Participants must live or go to school in Sacramento County, one kit per address and supplies are limited.
- Charge up Change! This competition is open to middle school students in Sacramento County. Make a short video to promote electric vehicles for a chance to win money. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Video submissions are due October 2020.
Join the global movement from home
- Visit Earthday.org for more information on how Earth Day is going digital this year. On its website, you can take steps to join the global call to climate action, take a new digital action each hour, put “our planet on the ballot,” and empower the next generation of leaders. You can also learn more about the history of Earth Day and current efforts around the world.
For more resources, visit http://www.cityofsacramento.org/public-works/facilities/sustainability/earthday2020 .