Earth Day in Washington D.C. was a bit of a bummer. On environmentalists’ proverbial Christmas not only did Michelle Obama cancel her Earth Day service event due to weather, but there were only a few small events in the nation’s capitol – One, for example, in the morning at the National Zoo for two hours, one midday at the Botanical Gardens for four hours and a few commercial offerings/giveaways at places like Starbucks and Elevation Burger.
Of course, as a Greenpeace representative said, explaining to The Daily Caller why Greenpeace is not doing a big Earth Day celebration this year: “Everyday is Earth Day to an environmentalist.”
TheDC stopped by one of the Earth Day events at the Botanical Gardens, where volunteers devoted two rooms to about 15 small demonstration booths for sweet earth lovin’. A good 50 percent of the booths were government entities, such as United States Department of Agriculture, National Science Foundation, Botanical Gardens and the Architects of the Capitol.
Laura Condeluci, the Garden’s public programs coordinator, told TheDC that the Botanical Garden expected a couple thousand people to stop by throughout the day. An estimated 50 were there at the time of this report.
Two women, Catherine and Maggie, handed out fliers and promoted the Earth Day Network’s “Billion Acts of Green” campaign, an effort to get people to reduce their carbon foot print.
“We just want everyone to do something to reduce their carbon foot print. Whether that is walking to school, staying out of the car, recycling – and we are trying to get a billion acts of green before the Rio conference 2012,” said Catherine.
The pair told TheDC that while they have been impressed with Michelle Obama’s environmental stewardship – greening schools and encouraging healthy eating – they have been frustrated that President Obama has not been more aggressive with his environmental agenda.
“Obama is doing what he can, but it is obviously very hard to work on every single aspect of the environment,” said Maggie. “For us as an organization we’d like to see more.”
“I would like to see more action in terms of the administration following up on the campaign promises he made during the election in terms of energy – renewable energy and relying less on drilling and fossil fuels,” added Catherine.
A tourist whose wife had dragged him to the Earth Day event told TheDC that despite what President Obama has said, it does not appear to him as though the administration is too concerned with the environment.
“I haven’t felt as though environmental issues are really a big priority in the Obama administration. There are just so many other things they have going on,” he said.
Other exhibits included a healthy food station, seed stand, suggestions on types of plants to grow, tips to reduce your carbon foot print, recycling guides, and green bags.
Despite the poor showing in D.C today, last weekend environmentalist groups held a preemptive celebration on the National Mall, ostensibly to celebrate today’s “holiday.”