April 15, 2013

When well-known Dallasite Trammell S. Crow founded Earth Day Dallas in 2011, it was held in the Arts District downtown in April and drew 265 exhibitors and 48,000 visitors in the first year. The following year, the event grew, attracting roughly 58,000 people at its new larger location at Fair Park, where the event will be held again in 2013 on April 20 and 21 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

This year, momentum continues to build as Earth Day Dallas organizers estimate the number of exhibitors to more than double from the first year and expect as many as 65,000 people at Fair Park. “Most of us don’t realize how many institutions and corporations are busy at work protecting the world around us,” says Crow. “They’ll see it all at Earth Day Dallas.”

Indeed, in just a few short years, Earth Day Dallas has grown into one of the biggest Earth Day events in the nation, focusing on four main components: business, education, government and non-profits, while at the same time being a pro-business event that promotes environmental education.  

“This year there will be twice the exhibitor space indoors and many national companies and organizations have come onboard this year for the event as well,” say event organizers. Even the Radio Disney Children’s Zone has grown, and Home Depot is showcasing a large interactive exhibit. ( Trammell S Crow / Earth Day Dallas received the 2013 Green Source DFW Environmental Leadership Award for Public Service - Photo: Green Source DFW)

“Our theme [this year] is focused on endeavors in environmental sustainability,” organizers say. “Whether it’s scientific research, educational opportunities, causes or retail products, the theme is about improving environmental sustainability. We know that there are related causes – wellness is a good example – that merit consideration. But we want to remain focused solely on the environment.”   Speaker Leilani Münter combines her need for speed with her passion for environmental issues. Last year, she drove her “Cove” themed car at the Daytona International Speedway to highlight the annual dolphin slaughter in Japan, exposed in the Academy-Award winning documentary “The Cove.”  Earth Day Schedule 


On display at Earth Day Dallas is a  60-foot-long catamaran, Plastiki, constructed solely of recycled materials. The boat consists of 12,500 plastic bottles and utilizes a non-toxic bonding agent made of sugar and cashews.  The catamaran at Fair Park and some detail to see the bottles that keep it afloat.  ( Plastiki photo: Phillip Shinoda )

Organizers also point out that even though there is an entertainment aspect the overriding essential component of the event is the exhibitors in the Eco Expo. “Visitors can expect to see solutions they can implement at home, businesses they might choose to patronize, and a complete menu of environmental programs that affect their daily lives,” Crow says.

“We want people to come away from Earth Day Dallas thinking not only that they can change the way they do things for the betterment of the environment, but that they must, and that those changes, simple as they may be, will make a difference,” Earth Day Dallas folks emphasize.  “Second, we feel it’s important for people to understand that the business community is as much a part of the solution as it was part of the problem.  Business is not the enemy; it is a huge part of the solution.”

Formed as a 501(c)3 by Crow, the difference between this event and several other well-known green festivals is that corporations have a larger presence.  

Overall, the most important thing the Earth Day Dallas folks want everyone to know is that we all have a role to play in environmental sustainability and that means that everyone must participate. Or, put another way, organizers say “To varying degrees and in multiple ways – and whether we knew it or not – we’ve all participated in environmental degradation. It’s going to take more than just a few of us to turn this boat around, and the things being exhibited at Earth Day Dallas display the multiple ways for us to do that.”

Earth Day Dallas will utilize approximately 500,000 square feet of both indoor and outdoor event space where exhibitors will promote their achievements as green leaders and teach attendees how to take environmentally responsible action by better utilizing available resources and switching to eco-friendly products.  Schedule

Earth Day Dallas and other Earth Day festivals are the places where people learn about all of the various endeavors and opportunities that are going on in the field of environmental sustainability.

“In other words,” organizers conclude “Earth Day festivals are the places where the connections are made between researchers, educators and businesses, and the general public that are supposed to benefit from the inventions and products.”

Earth Day Dallas, Inc. is a Dallas, Texas-based non-profit organization with a 501(c)(3) designation. Earth Day Dallas does not charge admission to its events and all exhibitor, sponsor and donor-related income is used for event planning and production.

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