News Release

Office of Public Affairs

For Immediate Release: April 13, 2017
Release #2017-04
For more information contact: Lance Klug

California is going all out to celebrate Earth Day 2017 on April 22 and all month long! The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery has compiled a list of statewide Earth Day festivities so every Californian has the opportunity to commemorate the birth of the modern environmental movement. Events range from family-friendly activities to community service projects and cleanups.

Find an Earth Day 2017 event near you.

“The people of California take tremendous pride in our state’s environmental leadership on important issues like climate change, conservation, and alternative energy sources,” CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline said. “These local events give neighbors a chance to connect and move forward together to meet the environmental challenges of our time.”

If you can’t make it out to a community event, CalRecycle has some great resources to help you celebrate Earth Day in your own way.

Start your own Earth Day Event–Take a nature hike or throw a zero-waste party! Check out these unique options for commemorating Earth Day.

Home composting guide–Recycling your organic waste at home helps fight climate change while creating a nutrient-rich, natural soil amendment.

What to recycle? Where?–Find the nearest recycling options for bottles and cans, e-waste, used oil, and more.

Carbon footprint calculator–Learn how your actions are impacting the Earth, and take steps to reduce your carbon footprint.

About Earth Day

U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (WI) organized the first Earth Day in 1970 as a way to force environmental issues onto the national political agenda. With the backdrop of the 1962 publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and two prominent environmental disasters in 1969–a massive oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara and a fire on the heavily polluted Cuyahoga River in Ohio–Sen. Nelson gained bipartisan support for a “national teach-in on the environment” set for April 22, 1970. The idea resulted in massive rallies across the country with more than 20 million Americans demanding action on the environment. By December 1970, Congress authorized the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and subsequently passed legislation that laid the foundation for environmental regulation in the United States.

As a leader in environmental policy, California established the nation’s first air quality programs in the 1950s and pioneered advances in vehicle emission controls and other anti-pollution standards. California named its first Secretary of Environmental Affairs in 1975 and formally unified the state’s environmental authority under a single Cabinet level agency in 1991–creating the current California Environmental Protection Agency.

California’s pioneering spirit continues today with groundbreaking efforts to combat climate change, achieve higher recycling goals,, and create a sustainable path for future generations.


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CalRecycle provides oversight of California solid waste handling and recycling programs to protect human health, develop sustainable solutions that conserve resources, and reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.