Here’s how you can celebrate Earth Day in the San Antonio area this Thursday

Enjoy a beer, hike a trail or visit a national park

Have plans yet for Earth Day?
Have plans yet for Earth Day? (Pexels stock image)

SAN ANTONIO – Earth Day 2021 is Thursday and there are several ways you can give back to the planet and your community.

The annual event is central to an environmental movement that kicked off in the ’70s and seeks to raise awareness about the consequences of climate change.

While reducing your use of electricity and upping your recycling habits are great ways to honor the planet year-round, Earth Day can be a great day to designate to give back to your local community.

After the uncharacteristic freeze and several days of snow in San Antonio in February, many local plants died from exposure to frigid temperatures. The weather has since warmed up and Earth Day is a prime opportunity to start planting new garden beds that might have been damaged.

Replacing trees that didn’t survive the freeze is another way to help your local community, in addition to helping Mother Nature. Plants and trees help filter air of pollutants and produce oxygen, in addition to helping preserve water levels in soil.

We want to see your Earth Day photos! Submit via KSAT Pins and you might be featured on-air or online.

Do you have asthma?

Earth Day might have a deeper significance for you. Rising carbon dioxide levels boost pollen, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Seasonal allergies are often strongly linked to allergic asthma. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 12 Americans have asthma.

Planting a tree near a window on your property might also help you cut down on electricity costs, which spike in the sweltering Texas summer due to the high use of air-conditioning.

Here are some other ways you can give back on Earth Day:

1. Visit (or reserve a visit to) a national park. At least 80 percent of the money stays in the park where it is collected, and the other 20 percent is used to benefit parks that do not collect fees, according to the National Park Service. There are also plenty of state parks in the San Antonio area that you can enjoy.

2. Head to H-E-B where you can get one of 200,000 reusable bags. On Thursday, April 22, beginning at 1 p.m. customers who visit any H-E-B in Texas can get their complimentary Earth Day bag while supplies last. The bags can be used to help cut down your plastic use and are made from recycled plastic bottles.

3. Head to New Braunfels for the Annual Earth Day celebration. The free event lets you explore the native prairie restoration, stroll along the spring run and see where the Comal River begins, participate in hands-on activities and scavenger hunts, and enjoy some time getting connected with nature. The celebration will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 24 at the Headwaters at The Comal located at 333 E. Klingemann St.

4. Participate in the Earth Day Virtual Challenge by registering online and logging miles to see how many times virtual participants can run the distance of the equator. The total for 2020 was 51,023 miles. Find more information and join the challenge here.

5. Celebrate Earth Day at Alamo Beer Co. Brewery & Beer Hall, Thursday, April 22 from 5 to 9 p.m. at 202 Lamar Street. Sustainable vendors will be on-site for various food options.

6. Launch your own or join a clean-up group on social media. For example, a new South Side group - San Antonio River Aid - is holding meetups along the Mission Reach to clean up the river.

You can also get involved with local organizations in the San Antonio area that are celebrating Earth Day by attending one of the following events:

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.