This year’s Earth Day celebration commenced in Union Square on Sunday as thousands of environmentally conscious city residents came together to stand up for the Earth by supporting dozens of environmental organizations and green businesses while enjoying interactive exhibits and live performances.
Pamela Lippe, president and founder of the Earth Day Initiative, said that Earth Day tends to focus in on what people can do.
“That’s why there’s a focus on the sharing economy and on vehicles and food, because Earth Day at its core is about engaging the public on what they can do,” she said. “Millions of people doing the little things is what will make a real impact,” Lippe added.
The Earth Day Initiative promotes environmental awareness and solutions through partnerships including schools, businesses and governments.
Kathryn Garcia, the city’s Department of Sanitation commissioner, was recognized on Sunday as Public Official of the Year mostly for expanding the city’s organic curbside recycling program, which now serves more than 700,000 people across the city.
The program helps the city reduce trash disposal costs and creates compost that can be used to beautify city parks, gardens and can be sold to area landscapers.
“In addition, we also did events yesterday on Staten Island focused on safe disposal of items including electronics and paints/solvents. We don’t want any of that getting into the environment,” she said.