Earth Day Happy Hour
Two organizations want to chat with you about the environment over a few beers (you’re buying). LEED, the Local Economic and Employment Development Council, is joining Clean Air Counts, a regional org that seeks to help households and businesses reduce emissions. Appetizers will be served as green businesses and vendors such as the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, Soy Safe Cleaners and I-GO Cars show off eco-friendly resources, home and business solutions and products at this networking event. Goose Island Clybourn, 1800 N Clybourn Ave at Willow St (773-929-5552, ext 226). El: Red to North/Clybourn. Bus: 8 Halsted, 72 North. 5:30–7:30pm, free.
Chicago Green Festival
Every persuasion of green goods and services is under one roof at what’s reportedly the world’s largest consumer eco/sustainable lifestyle show. Taking the idea of green living beyond eco-friendly consumer products, the fair also hosts workshops on sustainable building, parenting, investing and more. Bike valet service will be available. McCormick Place, 2301 S Lake Shore Dr (800-504-7336, greenfestivals.org). Bus: 2, 3, X3, 4 (24hrs), 6, 10, 14, 21, 26, 28. 10am–8pm; $5–$19, kids under 12 free.
Earth Day Cleanup and Celebration
This Earth Day, round up the family to help the Park District and Friends of the Parks brighten up one of the city’s nicest green spots: William Le Baron Jenney’s historic Humboldt Park. Little ones’ efforts will be rewarded not just with a lesson on how to be responsible citizens of the Earth, but with games, face painting, live entertainment and crafts, too. Treekeepers and other experts also will be on hand to discuss natural area restoration and preservation. No registration is necessary. Humboldt Park Boathouse, 1359 N Sacramento Blvd at Humboldt Dr (312-742-7549). Bus: 52 Kedzie/California, 70 Division. 9am–2pm, free.
Get Trashed on Earth Day
You could pick up trash along the river to do your part on Earth Day, or you could just get soused on martinis and call it a day. At the Leg Room’s Keep Chicago Beautiful foundation fund-raiser, half of the proceeds from the sale of three special $8 Earth Day cocktails—including a Mudd-tini, an Ocean Blue and an Apple Tree martini—will go to KCB, a nonprofit org that works with area businesses, schools, neighborhoods and government agencies to improve our environment. DJ Johnny Price spins hip-hop and dance music. Leg Room, 7 W Division St at State St (312-337-2583). El: Red to Clark/Division. 7pm, free.
Green Scene Eco-Fest
Northside College Prep’s student-run environmental org, Community for Alternative Sources of Energy, hosts this eco-fest to highlight ways in which local businesses and organizations can work with the community to promote green thinking. In hopes of leaving each visitor with at least one idea that he or she can immediately implement, the fest will include food and goods from green vendors; hands-on activities; speakers; a clothes swap; a book, DVD and video-game swap; green cooking demos and screenings; and more. Northside College Preparatory School, 5501 N Kedzie Ave at Catalpa Ave (312-952-6736). Bus: 52, 82, 92. Noon–5pm, free.
Earth Day Party for the Planet
The zoo comes alive for Earth Day when the Environmental Elvis takes the stage to serve his renditions of ’60s and ’70s classics such as “Don’t Waste Fuel” and “Burning Sludge.” Also on the bill are more family-friendly live entertainment, arts and crafts, Earth Day cake decorating, zoo chats, oak-tree-sapling giveaways and an Energy Scavenger Hunt. Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Golf Rd, Brookfield (708-485-0263). Metra: Burlington/Santa Fe to Zoo. 11am, free with admission ($10, kids ages 3–11 and seniors $6, kids under 2 free, parking $8).
Earth Day Celebration featuring Green Apple Music and Arts Festival
This year, the Lincoln Park Zoo’s Earth Day celebration is part of the Green Apple Music and Arts Fest. The all-ages, carbon-neutral concert includes Umphrey’s McGee, the Disco Biscuits, Ella Jenkins, the Blisters, Paul Green’s School of Rock, Mad Professor and Todd Park Mohr of Big Head Todd. While this fest is more focused on the music than the “arts” mentioned in its title, there are other offerings, including organic-food vendors, zoo presentations, docent-led tours, keeper chats, arts and crafts, bird walks and interactive demos. See Music for more Green Apple concert info. Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 N Cannon Dr between Lake Shore Dr and Fullerton Pkwy (312-742-2000). Bus: 151 Sheridan (24hrs), 156 LaSalle. 10am–5:30pm, free.
An Inconvenient Truth
Check out the film that finally sparked a lackadaisical public to give a damn about global warming. At this free screening, you can watch as Al Gore calmly and reassuringly explains how the Earth will die screaming unless carbon-dioxide emissions are brought under control pronto. Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Theater, 77 E Randolph St, second floor, at Michigan Ave (312-744-5721). El: Red to Lake; Orange, Pink, Green, Brown, Purple (rush hrs) to Randolph. Bus: 3, X3, 4 (24hrs), X4, 10, 14, 26, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 151 (24hrs), 157. 1pm, free. —Madeline Nusser