How To Celebrate Earth Day In New York City

two people holding Earth globe in celebration of Earth Day

Earth Day, a world-wide celebration in support of environmental protection, is held every year on April 22nd  which marks the 46th anniversary of this event. While NYC, one of the most urban places on the planet, may seem like an odd place to celebrate nature but it actually makes perfect sense. Cities aren’t going away, and it’s the ability to make them more “green” that will affect the planet now, and in the future.

Celebrating Earth Day in NYC can be done in a number of ways. The Earth Day Initiative is the main, but by no means only, sponsor of events annually here in the city. Their main event, Earth Day New York 2016, will be held in Union Square from noon until 7pm. You can expect exhibitors, interactive displays, live performances and kids’s activities. This event attracts tens of thousands of attendees every year.

Bicyclist, joggers and walkers enjoy Car Free Streets on Park Ave as part of New York City's Summer Streets

Car-Free Day

A new initiative this year (by the Earth Day New York folks) is #carfreenyc. With the cooperation of the city, on April 22, some streets along Broadway will be closed to car traffic in order to reduce car emissions and make New Yorkers more reliant on public transportation. Fun fact: Did you know in the past 5th Avenue was shut down on Earth Day in NYC to make Central Park available for the public?

Given that New York’s world-famous nickname is “the city that never sleeps,” going a full day without moving cars on even some streetsmay seem almost impossible, but one transportation expert ensures it is feasible if there’s some extra planning.

Even though only selected streets in Manhattan will be closed we advise you to leave your cars at home and instead walk, bike or ride the subway to work. We’re ditching our car on Earth Day, why don’t you?

Not Just One Day a Year

While Earth Day brings attention to the problems facing our environment once a year, we all should strive to “think green” year round. Below are some things you can do to keep the Earth Day spirit going 24/7/365.

Stop 'N' Swap event in Upper West Side, NYC
Photo: courtesy GrowNYC

Stop ‘N’ Swap

This fun event (which happens year round!) by the environmental NGO, GrowNYC, is a great way to meet fresh faces while securing a healthy environment for future generations. All you need is clean, reusable, and portable items you no longer need. The benefit? You get to bring home something new-to-you and free! No need to bring anything, but why not get in the spirit?

There is a Stop ‘N’ Swap in Upper West Side, Manhattan on Sunday, April 17 from 11am-2pm. You can check their website calendar for dates and times of future events across the city.

Families at Central Park in NYC

Central Park: Keeping It Green for Families

Is it really Earth Day without a celebration in Central Park? Keeping it Green for Families will make you appreciate nature while teaching your children about what Mother Earth does for us and what we can do for her. Spend quality time with your family and encourage your neighbors to participate! There’s room still available for the session on April 24th.

team of volunteers picking up litter in the park

The Simple Things

Aside from all those activities, the simple actions matter more than you think such as conserving water, reusing items and recycling. Volunteer at the park and  join thousands of others who help keep the more than 5000 NYC parks green and clean. Thanks to New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, you can participate in volunteering events, team up with other dedicated environmentalists, or become a member of a partner organization.

Environmental sustainability is a key factor in our building projects, as evidenced by our two recent green buildings, Emerald Green and Crystal Green. We also use green building materials and techniques in many of our non LEED-certified buildings. Are you on board?

How are you celebrating Earth Day? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

Posted in manhattan living, NYC Events, Upper West Side |