Two of the giveaways at the Earth Day event at Will Rogers State Park were a plastic measuring spoon and a plastic avocado peeler from Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office.
When a millennial was shown the freebies, he responded, “You went to an Earth Day celebration and got plastic?”
Resilient Palisades, the local environmental group in town, planned the event that was held on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and was done in cooperation with Councilman Mike Bonin’s and with the L.A. City Mayor’s offices.
There was financial support for the event from Bonin’s discretionary fund and from the City. CTN asked the City and CD 11 offices how much was donated and Chief of Staff for Mike Bonin, Chad Molnar said “On our end, we’ve committed $5K.”
The Mayor’s office had not responded by press time.
Additionally, the Councilman’s office provided 25 tables and 50 chairs for vendors who couldn’t supply their own.
One of the first exhibitors near the parking lot was Athens Services, which supplies trash and recycling pickup to commercial facilities, multi-use buildings and residential buildings (with more than four units). Athens had set up a game, and a child after spinning a wheel, got to guess if something could be recycled or not.
For example, the pizza box had two right answers: the top could go into cardboard recycling and the bottom would go into food and compostables. Every participant won either a coloring book or a drink coaster made from a rubber tire.
The Athens staff told Circling the News that they are only able to recycle #1, #2, #5 plastics, the remaining plastics, #3, #4, #6 and #7, cannot be recycled and are sent to landfill.
Next CTN wandered over to Councilman Mike Bonin’s booth and spoke to Abby Austin, field representative for Westchester/Playa del Rey/Playa Vista.
Austin was asked, “It’s obvious that Councilman Mike Bonin cares about the earth because he’s helping to sponsor this festival, but why hasn’t he saved the birds and animals in the Ballona Wetlands?” (Circling the News has written extensively about the RV’s that have been allowed to trash and foul one of the few environmentally sensitive wetlands left in Southern California, which is in Bonin’s district.)
Austin said that because of Covid, the RV’s could not be moved, but now on May 15, the city can legally tow.
CTN, said it understood that the law prevented the City from towing but “You could have asked them to move to another location, right?”
“Yes,” Austin said, but noted she couldn’t speak further.
CTN was in time to take a photo of Councilman Bonin as he presented a certificate to RP that stated “On behalf of the City of Los Angeles, I am please to recognize Resilient Palisades for creating an Amazing Earth Day Festival at Will Rogers State Historic Park. Your leadership and commitment to protecting our planet, supporting environmentally vulnerable communities and making your neighborhood more resilient make the Pacific Palisades and the entire City a better place in which to live, play, and enjoy.”
After the photo CTN tried to ask Bonin the same question that had been asked of his field deputy but was told he had to leave.
Resilient Palisades once again proved they were good stewards of the earth, with information about solar, EV’s, plant-based solutions (four food trucks with vegan options), emphasizing reusing and gas-free gardening.
The group also organized children’s events. There was music and yoga. There was an estimated more than 500 people who attended the event throughout the day.
On the way out of the event, CTN stopped by the Mayor’s booth, where this editor obtained the plastic freebies.
Since 1970, the United States has celebrated Earth Day on April 22. The day marks the anniversary of the birth of the environmental movement. This movement led to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.
Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a Democratic U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, felt he needed to do something after witnessing the 1969 massive offshore oil spill in Santa Barbara.
The Senator persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair, and recruited Denis Hayes from Harvard as national coordinator.
On April 19, Resilient Palisades sent a press release: “It was a beautiful day and a huge success! Between non-profit and city organizations, vendors, children’s activities, yoga, vegan food trucks, and entertainment, more than 50 participating groups came together for this day of awareness-building, community connection, and fun.”
RP noted that Earth Day is Friday and urged everyone to take part in an event or cleanup “as we strive to create a culture in which every day is earth day.”