Earth Day: There are many ways to participate in Earth Day and help preserve Santa Monica’s natural beauty. File Photo

Between the take-out boom and proliferation of disposable PPE, the pandemic has not been a ‘green’ time, but on Earth Day this Thursday the City plans to put the environment back into focus.

Between a City-wide volunteer cleanup, a sustainable energy rebate program, and online events on combating climate change, there are many ways community members can get involved.

Collectively these actions will reaffirm Santa Monica’s commitment to the planet and help compensate for the necessary, yet environmentally damaging, use of plastics and disposables during the pandemic.

On Earth Day, Santa Monica Shines is launching a ‘Clean Campaign’, rallying residents to carry out neighborhood clean-ups with their friends and family. Free clean-up kits will be available at six different locations around the city until August 31 and prizes are available for those who participate.

“The Clean Campaign is a fun and proactive way to participate in a clean and safe Santa Monica and promotes a sense of pride in our vibrant neighborhoods,” said Lane Dilg, interim city manager. “We hope residents will lean into the spirit of Earth Day by joining in this community-wide effort to care for our treasured outdoor spaces that have been so essential to our lives in the pandemic.”

Beginning on Earth Day and extending through June 1, residents who post a photo of themselves taking part in a clean-up and tag #WeAreSantaMonica and #SantaMoniCARES could win a $100 gift card to a local Santa Monica business.

The campaign also includes stickers and signs designed to inform residents of best trash and recycling practices, such as utilizing free bulky item pick-ups instead of dumping items in the street. More information on the Clean Campaign and clean-up kit locations can be found at SantaMoniCares.com.

Local non-profit Heal the Bay is also running a series of Earth Day activities. From 5:30 to 6:30 p.m on Thursday the organization is hosting a virtual panel on nature based solutions to combat climate change. Additionally, Heal the Bay is hosting an Earth Day celebration at their recently reopened aquarium on Saturday and Sunday with eco-friendly crafts and activities for kids.

For those who want to keep their environmental activism rolling past Earth Day, the City has several other upcoming green events.

On April 29, the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, the City of Santa Monica and Sustainable Works are hosting the 25th annual Sustainable Quality Awards. The event will take place from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and recognize local businesses with an exceptional commitment to the environment.

Then at 6 p.m. on May 4, Sustainable Works and the City will host a virtual screening of ‘I am Greta’, a documentary sharing the story of teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg. Following the screening there will be a panel discussion with local youth working on environmental action.

Additionally the City’s Office of Sustainability & the Environment is hosting an ongoing rebate program that offers residents up to $1,800 to replace household natural gas equipment with efficient all-electric alternatives. Residents can learn more at:
smgov.net/Departments/OSE/categories/energy.aspx
“Santa Monica’s commitment to sustainability is part of our community’s DNA. We are using the power of community to enhance our resources, prevent harm to the natural environment and human health, and benefit the social and economic wellbeing of the community,” said Chief Sustainability Officer, Shannon Parry. “You can get involved this Earth Day, and every day, by joining in the neighborhood cleanup effort and making meaningful changes to reduce your environmental impact.”

Clara@smdp.com