April 22 is Earth Day, an international effort founded in 1970 by Wisconsin senator Gaylord Nelson and coordinated by the nonprofit Earth Day Network (earthday.net). It's also the birthday of Julius Sterling Morton, founder of Arbor Day, celebrated this year on April 27. The city has expanded its annual festivities to what's called Earth Month (April 17 through May 20), the highlight of which is Green Festival, a sprawling weekend convention of lectures, vendors, and activities. All events are free unless otherwise noted. See related listings in Movies and Readings & Lectures. For a free archive of the Reader's features on green topics, see chicagoreader.com/greenchicago. --Ryan Hubbard
Green Business Conference Find out how to green your company. a 8 AM-3 PM, Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, 312-744-6630; registration required at coopamerica.biz.
Green Environmental Management Systems Earth Day Fair Several government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, will staff booths with information on the environment; sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs. a 8 AM-4:30 PM, Jesse Brown Medical Center, 820 S. Damen, 312-287-2909.
CAF Lunchtime Lecture "Sustainability and the Kohl Children's Museum," by Booth Hansen architect David J. Mann. a 12:15 PM, Chicago Architecture Foundation, 224 S. Michigan, 312-922-3432.
Earth Day Art Exhibition Designed to raise awareness of global warming; benefits the Sierra Club. a 5:30-8:30 PM, Space 900, 1040 W. Huron, 312-882-8512, space900.com.
Edgewater Earth Day The Edgewater Community Council offers seminars and workshops covering gardening, storm water management, recycling, and more. a 8:30 AM-noon, Helen C. Pierce School, 1423 W. Bryn Mawr, 773-334-5609.
Earth Day Cleanups Dozens of Chicago Parks are inviting volunteers to collect trash, mulch, weed, and more. a 9 AM-noon. See chicagoparkdistrict.org for participating parks; register in advance at fotp.org.
Green Festival Billed as a "party with a purpose," this giant annual event is being held in Chicago for the first time. It offers more than 100 speakers and an expo of 350 green businesses, plus organic food and beverage vendors and workshops on fair trade, eco-friendly construction, and green careers. There's also live music, a film festival (see Movies), a "Movement Room" with yoga sessions, and a "Kids' Zone" with hands-on activities. Author, activist, and farmer Howard Lyman kicks off the speaker series at 11 AM with "Inventory of Planet Earth"; other speakers today include investigative journalist Greg Palast, Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman, and populist radio commentator Jim High-tower. At 2 PM three panelists, including the city's environment commissioner, will discuss "Chicago's Journey to Become the Greenest City in the Nation." Other lecture and panel topics include "How to Make Chicago Sweatshop Free," "Solar Energy 101," "Drink Beer and Save the World," and "Sustainable Food and Food Systems." a 10 AM-8 PM, McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Dr., 312-791-7000, greenfestivals.org, $5-$10 (daily admission), $14-$19 (weekend passes), children 12 and under free.
Chicago Park District Earth Day Celebration Join park cleanup volunteers for tree plantings, entertainment, and hands-on activities such as seed planting, face painting, and fishing instruction. a 11 AM-2 PM, Humboldt Park Boathouse, 1359 N. Sacramento, 312-742-7549, chicagoparkdistrict.org.
Green Apple Music & Arts Festival Billed as the country's largest Earth Day celebration, this second annual weekend-long event (happening simultaneously in New York City and San Francisco) features concerts for kids and adults at 21 venues; today's roster includes two children's shows. a Deep Fried Pickle Project (30-minute performance followed by an instrument-building workshop), 11:30 AM, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon, 773-755-5100; Sharp Cookies (a "hands-on hootenanny"), 3 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508. See greenapplemusicfestival.com for complete schedule.
Green Scene An indoor/outdoor ecofest, with more than 20 vendors sponsored by the Community for Alternative Sources of Energy, a student-run nonprofit; activities include kids' crafts, a recycled computer collection, relaxation exercises, a screening of An Inconvenient Truth, a raffle, and a fluorescent bulb giveaway. a Noon-5 PM, Northside College Preparatory High School, 5501 N. Kedzie, 312-952-6736.
Earth Day Art Exhibition Designed to raise awareness of global warming; benefits the Sierra Club. a 2-5 PM, Space 900, 1040 W. Huron, 312-882-8512, space900.com.
Get Trashed on Earth Day Fifty percent of the proceeds from sales of Earth Day-themed cocktails will go to Keep Chicago Beautiful; DJ Johnny Price spins hip-hop and dance. a 7 PM-4 AM, the Leg Room, 7 W. Division, 312-337-2583.
Skokie Lagoons Cleanup Beautify by boat or on foot; gloves, pick sticks, and garbage bags provided. a 9 AM-noon, Tower Road boat launch, Winnetka, chicagokayak.org.
Eckhart Park Earth Week Sponsored by the Eckhart Park Gardeners Club. a 9-11 AM, park cleanup and tree identification walk; 11 AM-1 PM, bike workshop; 1:30 PM, kickball; Eckhart Park, 1330 W. Chicago, 312-746-5553.
Brookfield Zoo Party for the Planet Dozens of events, including storytelling, crafts, a scavenger hunt, a make-believe camp, and a performance by Environmental Elvis. a 10 AM-5 PM, Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Gold Rd., Brookfield, 708-485-0263, $6-$10 (Earth Day activities free with regular admission), brookfieldzoo.org.
Hubbard Street Mural Project Ricardo Alonzo, one of the project's founding artists, returns to Chicago after 35 years to repaint the mural panel titled "Picasso's Girlfriend." The public's invited to watch. a 10 AM-4 PM, 1000 W. Hubbard (between Morgan and Sangamon), hubbardstreetmurals.org.
Earth Day Cleanup Bring "gloves, shovels, and gardening tools." a 10 AM-noon, Unity Playlot Park, 2636 N. Kimball, 773-478-1410, chicagoparkdistrict.org.
Green Apple Music & Arts Festival This second annual weekend-long event (happening simultaneously in New York City and San Francisco) features concerts for kids and adults at 21 venues; today's roster includes these kids' events. a Deep Fried Pickle Project (followed by an instrument-building workshop), 10 AM; Ella Jenkins, 10:30 AM; the Blisters, 11:15 AM; the Paul Green School of Rock, noon; Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 N. Cannon, 312-742-2000. See greenapplemusicfestival.com for complete schedule.
Green Festival See listing for 4/21. Among today's speakers, state senator Jacqueline Y. Collins discusses the legislation of the Illinois Sudan Divestment Act. Author Kay Bruzas and Kay Stepkin, host of Go Veggie With Kay!, offer dining tips in "Chicago: A Great City for Healthy Eating." Reader contributor Christopher Hayes revisits a bet between an economist and a biologist in "The Wager: Was Ehrlich Right After All?" Other lecture topics include "Interfaith: Environment and Social Justice," "From Waste to Well-Being: Artisans Recycle Trash Into Treasures," and "Student Activism in the Fair Trade Movement." The festival closes with a concert by Chicago's New Millennium Orchestra. a 10 AM-8 PM, McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Dr., 312-791-7000, greenfestivals.org, $5-$10 (daily admission), $14-$19 (weekend passes), children 12 and under free.
Film Screening: An Inconvenient Truth Free screening sponsored by the city. a 1 PM, Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Theater, 78 E. Washington, 312-744-6630.
Used Cell Phone Collection For this city-sponsored program, phones collected through Sun 4/29 will be reprogrammed and given to seniors and victims of domestic violence for use as emergency phones. a Any Chicago Police Department station, earthmonthchicago.com.
Eckhart Park Earth Week At "Ask Me! Butterfly Gardening" experts will answer questions. a 5-7 PM, Eckhart Park, 1330 W. Chicago, 312-746-5553.
Lecture: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World Paul Stamets, president of Fungi Perfecti, an environmentally friendly company specializing in health-improving mushrooms, gives a talk. (He also speaks at Green Festival, Sat 3 PM.) a 7-9 PM, North Park Village Nature Center, 5801 N. Pulaski, 312-744-5472.
Eckhart Park Earth Week Sun photography workshop (a darkroom will be available). a 6-9 PM, Eckhart Park Field House, 1330 W. Chicago, 312-746-5553.
Earth Week Lecture "Ecological Justice/Environmental Racism," by Dr. Dwight Hopkins. a 7 PM, Zygon Center for Religion and Science, 1100 E. 55th, 773-256-0670, zygoncenter.org.
Eckhart Park Earth Week Experts provide answers at "Ask Me! Clouds." a 6-9 PM, Eckhart Park, 1330 W. Chicago, 312-746-5553.
Eckhart Park Earth Week Origami pigeon making. a 5-7 PM, Eckhart Park, 1330 W. Chicago, 312-746-5553.
Greening of Ravenswood 20th Annual Arbor Day Party This fund-raiser includes a buffet dinner, live auction, raffle, and open bar; half of the proceeds go toward redevelopment of the play lot in Welles Park. a 5:30 PM, 42 Degrees North Latitude, 773-907-2226 or 773-549-5010, $10-$75.
Eckhart Park Earth Week Council Circle, a story hour for kids. a 6-7 PM, Eckhart Park, 1330 W. Chicago, 312-746-5553.
Household Chemicals & Computer Recycling Collection City-sponsored collection. a 8 AM-3 PM, DeVry University parking lot, 3300 N. Campbell, 312-744-5721, earthmonthchicago.com.
Green and Growing Fair This 15th annual edition features organizations and vendors with handmade goods, gardening supplies, and plants as well as activities such as tree plantings, a scavenger hunt for kids, and a silent auction of gardening tools; sponsored by GreenNet. a 10 AM-4 PM, Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park, 312-863-6256, greennetchicago.org.
Eckhart Park Earth Week Closing activities include a tomato plant sale, a tree walk and naming, a sapling giveaway, a "Hug-a-Tree" booth, and a "Blueberry Madness" pie contest cosponsored by the West Town Tavern (download entry form at westtowntavern.com/events or pick one up at the field house); celebrity judges include pastry chef Christine McCabe and others. Pies will be available for sale, along with blueberry tarts baked by West Town Tavern chef Susan Goss. Proceeds benefit the park's gardening activities. a 10 AM-2 PM, Eckhart Park, 1330 W. Chicago, 312-746-5553.
Eyeglasses Collection Donate used glasses to be recycled and shipped to developing countries. Through Sun 5/6; sponsored by the city. a Any LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sunglass Hut, Sears, or Target Optical, 312-744-5721, earthmonthchicago.com.
Morton Arboretum Plant Sale This annual Arbor Day weekend event offers approximately 25,000 trees and other plants across more than 300 types. a 11 AM-4 PM (members can also shop Fri-Sat 4/27-4/28, 9 AM-4 PM), Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle, 630-968-0074, mortonarb.org.