As posted on the Earth Day Network site, Earth Day 2011 will be organized around “A Billion Acts of Green,” to recognize the power of millions of individual actions. The idea is to note personal, organizational and corporate pledges to live and act sustainably.

With more than 45 million actions recorded to date, A Billion Acts of Green is the world’s largest environmental service campaign. The movement is steadily building commitments by individuals, corporations and governments in honor
of Earth Day 2011, April 22.

Locally, the Citizens Utility Board has partnered with Evanston’s “Big Seven” employers to be part of CUB Energy Saver’s “Big 7 Savers Challenge.” These employers are the City of Evanston (employees), Evanston Township High School, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Northwestern University (employees), Rotary Energy EconoMisers and School District 65

Evanston residents who have not enrolled previously are encouraged to sign up for CUB Energy Saver to achieve energy savings that benefit not only the pocketbook, but also help contribute to Evanston’s overall impact. More information is available at www.cubenergysaver.com.

Homeowners interested in water conservation can attend the workshop “Using a Rain Barrel” at 6:30 p.m. on April 14 at the Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd. Participants will learn the basics of setting up and maintaining a rain barrel. Information on style choices, placement and basic maintenance will be provided. Rain barrels will be offered for sale, while supplies last, during Earth Month. More details are available by calling 847-448-8256.

Film-lovers can view several environmentally themed movies during the Talking Pictures Festival, April 14-17, with all venues accessible by public transportation. “The Colony,” an 87-minute film about beekeepers will be screened at 3 p.m. on April 16 at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum. It is co-presented with The Talking Farm.

Also on April 16, at 5 p.m., “Sun Come Up” a 38-minute 2011 Academy-Award-nominated film (Best Documentary, Short Subject) will be screened at the Medill School of Journalism. The film tells the story of the Cartaret Islanders, whose South Pacific home is being swallowed up by the sea.

At 1 p.m. on April 17 at the same venue “Burning Ice,” an 80-minute production, looks at the effects of climate change off the coast of Greenland.
Chicago filmmaker Peter Gilbert, director, will be present at the screening.

A short documentary about water will be shown at 5:30 p.m. on April 17 at the Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave. The Nashua River in Massachusetts, one of the country’s most polluted rivers, is examined in “Marion Stoddart: The Work of 1000.” More information about these films is available at www.talkingpicturesfestival.org or by calling 847-371-2804.

Residents concerned about identity theft may bring up to 25 pounds of paper documents for the next Shredding Day, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 23. The event, sponsored by First Bank & Trust of Evanston, will be held at 2925 Central St.

Evanston’s official Earth Day/Arbor Day Celebration will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on April 30 at the Ecology Center. Attendees may participate in family-oriented activities, games and crafts. Informational stations will show how to achieve a smaller environmental footprint.

Citizens’ Greener Evanston will host an Evanston Earth Month Celebration from 2 to 5 p.m. on May 1 at Beth Emet Synagogue, 1225 Dempster St. Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl will present the City’s State of Sustainability Report, and four green-themed workshops will be presented. More information is available at www.greenerevanston.org.

If everyone participates in an A Billion Acts of Green activity, the impact can be huge.

Contact Eco Gal at ecogal247@yahoo.com or read her blog at http://askecogal.blogspot.com.

Earth Day/Arbor Day Celebration April 30

10 a.m. to noon: Removal of all things invasive from the Ladd Arboretum

1 to 4 p.m.: Live music from local musicians.  Adults can check out rain barrels and composting bins, while kids can learn about local animals and plant some seedlings. Everyone will learn how to reduce their carbon footprint.

4 to 5 p.m.: The Garden Council of Evanston and City staff will hold a “Tea for Trees.” Topics include park-way trees, the parkway tree replacement program, the emerald ash borer and other threats to Evanston’s trees.

The Active Transportation Alliance will perform bike check-ups and helmet adjustments and give out information about environmentally friendly alternate forms of transportation.

Representatives from the Citizens Utility Board will explain Evanston’s Big 7 Employers Challenge to Save Energy with CUBenergysaver.com.

Information stations will help guide residents to reducing their environmental footprints.