By Naïma Hill
In your life, you will probably not have an opportunity to swim with an 80-foot-long, and 300,000-pound endangered blue whale, but, if you do, always say yes! What you can do right here in Dallas is get a sense of the size of the largest animal ever, right next to tiny you.
April 20-22, down the street at Fair Park, is the 7th annual Earth Day event, newly rebranded as EarthX (previously Earth Day TX). This year, along the familiar Esplanade, will be a life size blow-up blue whale brought from the Great Whale Conservancy. The replica is meant to inspire a sense of connectedness to our vast oceans. Exhibitors, environmental displays, tiny homes, activities, food, entertainment, eco-friendly vehicles, environmental films and more will take over most of Fair Park. During the three days, world class speakers will share sustainability best practices and successful environmental collaboration stories from a range of industries both corporate and grass roots.
“EarthX doesn’t look at the environment as a divisive topic, it’s something we can all get around, because we all have a stake in it,” said Ross Mason, EarthX account manager. EarthX has the goal to bring together business and environmental activism to really inspire change in all areas. No matter where your interests lie, there’s something for you at EarthX.
Bring your kids to learn and play with you as you dive into a virtual reality African jungle or take a dip with dolphins. Get your bodies moving with daily yoga, test ride an electric bike and, for the second year, learn how to scuba dive in a huge 20 x 30 foot pool. Last year, I managed a selfie with the great Sylvia Earle at this portable tank. Portable pools do make dreams come true.
One big change this year you want to know about: you have to pre-register online to get free admission. Enter your email at EarthX.org and let them know how many people you’re bringing to receive complimentary admission. Otherwise, it’s $5 at the door. Sounds like their way to plan for numbers and stay connected with you throughout the year. Last year, more than 100,000 people attended the event. They are gearing up for more this year. And this year the app is ready ahead of time — download EarthX 2018 from the app store today.
EarthX has increased their staff to prepare for this ginormous event, but the weekend still runs on thousands of volunteers. There is still time to sign up to help. EarthX.org/volunteer lets you choose the task and times you’re available to help make the event run smooth. There are still spots at the petition wall if you want to join me there.
In a city with a hefty footprint on our environment, bringing together activists, businesses and thoughtful leaders helps bring us closer to making larger moves to be more sustainable. Dallas citizens and worldwide citizens want this change. A walkable community-centered city powered by clean energy can be done. Let’s utilize this event to power us into change.
Wallow in the inspiration found in the films at EarthXFilm, the new technologic advances from the solar car showcase and even the eco-friendly message behind the frothy beer garden. Everything at EarthX is a consistent reminder that all of the choices we make on a daily basis have an impact on our environment.
A real blue whale may not be close to Dallas, but what we do here affects the vast oceans they live in, and therefore them. They need us to come together despite our differences and rally behind a commitment to reducing our impact on the planet. Find your way to reduce your impact at EarhtX. From breathtaking creative art to inventive tasty food, I bet you’ll find something that hits home.