Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day events: Bill Clinton speaks in O.C.

Earth Day almost seems to have morphed into Earth month, with a variety of events across Orange County that continue for weeks.

Earth Day itself will be marked by a few public events – most appear to happen on the weekends – as well as two private events with big-name speakers.

Topping that list will be a speech by President Bill Clinton at the Ritz-Carlton in Dana Point. Clinton will speak at the Fortune Magazine's Brainstorm Green conference, where he will address about 300 business leaders. The event is not open to the public but will be covered by the press.
The conference is about "green" business, and Clinton is expected to speak about green industry as well as the Obama administration's green initiatives.

At a second private event, Sodexo's Earth Day Summit in Irvine, Magic Johnson is scheduled talk about developing urban communities.

The company, which provides food and facilities management services, wants to encourage other businesses to reduce their carbon footprint with greener business practices.

"Our clients look to us to bring efficiencies to that sort of thing," said spokeswoman Stacy Bowman-Hade.

Although the company has been involved with green practices for some time, "there is definitely more chatter about it," she said.

Local farmers also will be on hand to to discuss their ability to supply produce; advocates of green living say "buying local" is better for the environment.

Cal State Fullerton will host an information fair and hold a presentation for the university's first building to receive "LEED" certification for its green design. And Second Harvest Food Bank will receive a $30,000 contribution during a special Earth Day crop gleaning event at its Incredible Edible Park in Irvine.

Other events are largely low-key: story-time and giveaways for children at Pottery Barn in Costa Mesa, a recycling event at the Disney Store in the same city, free electronic waste disposal at Gilbert South High School in Anaheim.

San Juan Capistrano has its 8th annual Earth Day fair on Thursday, while on Saturday, the Santa Ana Zoo will have a "Party for the Planet" that includes environmental education and animal encounters.

With days stretching into weeks of events, Earth Day seems to be getting more attention this year, although its popularity has been growing in recent years, said Casey Cochran, the proprietor of the OC Green Guide web site.

"Maybe it's because we're starting to realize we can live healthier and cleaner," Cochran said. "I think it's starting to resonate with people. Bigger companies are taking a bigger interest; more money is being invested in cleaner technology. It's cool to watch it evolve like that."

Courtesy of the OC Register

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