April’s celebrations put Earth first

There was a time when green events in Las Vegas were hard to find – but not anymore. There are a lot of great green happenings this month and I hope you’ll be able to attend some. In honor of Earth Day, April 22, here is a guide to some of the best:

On Friday, you can enjoy an early Earth Day celebration with a free bicycle tour of downtown Las Vegas and First Friday. Riders will visit some notable green landmarks including The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, Faciliteq and the Regional Transportation Commission Bike Center before finally arriving at First Friday’s Arts District. Bring your bike and meet at the RTC parking lot, 600 S. Grand Central Parkway at 6 p.m. RSVP to flothr@rtcsnv.com or call 676-1915.

On Tuesday, business-minded early risers can attend the U.S. Green Building Council, Nevada Chapter’s 7 a.m. monthly meeting at the Springs Preserve. This month’s speaker is Jessica Rosman, corporate strategic sourcing manager and sustainability liaison for Caesars Entertainment. The topic is Measuring Sustainability.

It’s great that Nevada’s largest industry is incorporating planetary stewardship into its operations. You will find more details about this and many other green building events at www.usgbcnv.org.

On April 19 at 5:30 p.m., the Green Fest business mixer will gather hundreds of like-minded professionals celebrating Earth Day 2012 at Town Square Las Vegas. Your hosts and sponsors will bring you an evening full of good food, drinks, fun activities, door prizes and music. You can visit www.thinkenergystar.com/greenfest/ to RSVP for the event.

That same evening at 6:30 p.m. you can attend Solar NV’s free monthly meeting at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. This month’s topic is the UNLV Solar Decathlon project and will be presented by the student team leaders and faculty adviser of Team Las Vegas. They are one of only 20 university teams competing in this prestigious event. Full details and directions are provided at www.solarnv.org.

There is one more option for Thursday the 19th. I will be presenting a talk entitled “Living With the Sun: Powering Your Home With Photovoltaics,” which will dive into the details of operation, cost, maintenance, incentives and their effects on the resale value of your home. It is the second of five in the free Green Living Lecture Series at the West Charleston Library and will begin at 6:30 p.m. Get the details for the full series at www.greendream.biz.

This month’s premier Earth Day event is Green Fest. The free event will take place April 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Town Square Las Vegas. Brought to you by the Green Alliance and Republic Services, Green Fest is a community celebration the whole family can enjoy.

Discover new and exciting ways to go green, save energy, conserve water, recycle and learn how to reduce your environmental footprint and live an eco-friendly sustainable lifestyle. Visit www.thinkenergystar.com/greenfest/ for all the information.

There has never been a more important time to embrace the ethics of Earth Day; in fact, it has become extremely crucial. In his talk “Why I must speak out about climate change,” top climate scientist James Hansen has outlined the overwhelming evidence that our climate is rapidly changing and why he is deeply worried about the future. He has been censored by the government and arrested for speaking the truth about our climate.

We cannot afford to continue to ignore this vital information, especially when it comes from such a credible source. I’ll post his excellent 18-minute presentation on www.greendream.biz or you can find it at www.ted.com. Either way, please watch it and share it with your friends and family.

I wish you a very pleasant and eye-opening Earth Day. If we share anything in common, let it be as responsible and active stewards of our beautiful planet.

Steve Rypka is a green living consultant and president of GreenDream Enterprises, a company committed to helping people live lighter on the planet. For more information and links to additional resources relating to this column, or to reach Steve, please visit www.greendream.biz.

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