(Editor’s note: Photographer Rich Schmitt captured some exquisite shots of the event. To view others, which are available for purchase, visit: http://richschmittphotography.com/resilientlow/.)
Story: CHAZ PLAGER
Photos: RICH SCHMITT
Resilient Palisades, a community nonprofit, hosted its annual Earth Day festival on April 23 in Village Green. A constant flow of residents streamed from the Sunday farmers market onto the little private park to enjoy the festival that focused on showing how to improve the environment, as well as offering activities for kids like art and composting.
Palisadians For The Planet provided live music, such as “You Ain’t Going Nowhere.”
Film and television star Ed Belgey, Jr., who is one Hollywood’s most prominent advocates of the environment, and former Palisades honorary mayors Janice and Billy Crystal were at the event.
Janice Crystal and Gail Wirth, who are both members of RP, organized the event. Councilmember Traci Park stopped by to support the effort.
The festival was composed of multiple stands called “teams,” each focused on a different aspect of the environment.
Those teams were:
- Vegan Solutions, which is run by RP leader Alicia Alberk. She told visitors how to adopt a vegan diet to save the environment. For example, did you know it takes 1,800 gallons of water to produce just one pound of beef? “It’s a compassionate way to live, and shows respect for other life on earth,” said Albek. “Everyone needs to realize the little things they can do to save the environment.”
- Solar Power demonstrated the benefits of solar power.
- Clean Air and Water team demonstrated new initiatives and techniques to slow down the pollution of the Earth’s air and water.
- Water Sages talked about how best to save water and how to filter rainwater.
- Zero Waste was promoting a petition to get Gelson’s to stop giving out single use plastic bags. Currently, an advocacy group The Last Beach Cleanup (LBC) has asserted that Gelson’s Markets and Stater Bros Markets have been selling bags that are not ‘recyclable in the state’ as required by California’s SB270 law, which was ratified by California voters as Proposition 67 in 2016.
- The City Team was giving out compost bins from the City Council to encourage compost use.
- The Green Banking Team was spreading awareness about the savings to be had with green energy.
- Clean Energy Resilience promoted solar power and the solar panel initiative here in the Palisades.
There were two food stands: Crepe du Jardin, which sold vegan crepes, and Xonxitas, which sold vegan Mexican food. Both food stands used reusable silverware to promote zero waste methods.
Another stand advertised Ridwell, a new service that hopes to launch in the Palisades. “We basically recycle stuff that you normally can’t, be it plastic bags, lightbulbs, batteries, whatever,” booth runner Andrew said. “You just put it all in a bin, and we show up once a week to take the stuff to be recycled.
“We’re partnered with a bunch of other groups, like a company that makes flooring and other house materials out of plastic bags.”
Headquartered in Seattle, Ridwell said it would need 7,500 people to sign up to come to L.A. Currently, they have 5,406 signed up. The cost in Seattle is $16 a month for three months.
The last stand was run by Athens Services, a trash hauling company, which gave a video PSA on how to properly sort trash.
Though the Earth may be facing unprecedented climate issues, these sorts of festivals give hope for the future. A quote by Jane Goodall was hung in the center of the Village Green, “To reconnect with nature is key if we want to save the planet.”