Earth Day: From picking up trash to reducing carbon footprint, Bay Area answers the call for climate action

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — This weekend’s Bay Area events honored Earth Day, from picking up trash to reducing our carbon footprint. This gives people in the Bay Area a lot to think about when it comes to the future of the planet.

The Earth Day San Francisco festival was back on Valencia Street after a two-year pandemic hiatus.

Green businesses were exposed from Solar to those who plant trees. All food vendors have gone vegan.

“Being in the community with people who are doing the same thing, promoting veganism,” said Mariana Landeros of Casita Vegana.

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For others, the Earth Day weekend is a call to action to protect the planet.

“It’s more than a celebration, it’s a learning day for activism,” said Earth Day spokeswoman Monalisa Wallace.

Climate change is moving the needle and changing the conversation.

“It just means a chance to think about how we can take small steps to prevent climate change, to be more responsible,” said Kyle Hughes.

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In Marin City, Delynnda Mixon and her children were picking up trash for an Earth Day community-wide cleanup.

“I love doing this so our kids can play outside safely without putting things in their mouths, especially the little ones,” Mixon said.

Others were helping demolish an aging skatepark that had become dangerous. Community pride at work here.

“Start the change here, everything has to get better to get better,” said Lamar Hogges.

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But Earth Day is also a stark reminder of how climate change is affecting the Bay Area and California, with hotter summers, bigger wildfires, and longer, more prolonged droughts.

“Droughts are becoming more frequent, more severe and longer. We find that in rivers, streams that have always seen flow, they have stopped flowing,” said Albert Ruhi, assistant professor at UC Berkeley in the Department of environmental science policy and management.

Ruhi says that as a society we need to adapt to a future that may have less water and managing existing reservoirs and dams in a more forward-thinking way can be part of that adaptation, which poses a challenge to water agencies.

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