Green Living 2012
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Lovin' on the planet: The top five things you can do for Earth Day

Lovin' on the planet: The top five things you can do for Earth Day

News_Happy Earth Day_cartoon

You can't make Planet Earth breakfast in bed. Hugging a tree, kissing the ground or rolling around in the mud may not be your cup of tea, either.

Surely, there have to be better ways to honor everyone's big 6-quadrillion-kilogram mom orb. And there are, as this marks the 42nd year the United States has observed the holiday, and Houston is in on the action.

Not sure what to do? Read on for five things around town to get the most out of Earth Day weekend.

For the animal lover: Earth Day Houston Zoo

The zoo may be thought of as the home for many delightful species that share the planet with us. But truly, it's a conservation nonprofit that offers many programs to learn what it takes to ensure the future survival of Earth's eco-diversity. 

Designed for kids and the young at heart, this green party includes a scavenger hunt that teaches about endangered animals, a maze that challenges adventurers to answer questions, a five-foot tall re-usable mural and a recycle race, in addition to regularly scheduled zoo keeper talks and behind the scene tours and feeding opportunities.

Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free with regular zoo admission.

For the artsy fartsy: "Bella Gaia: A Poetic Vision of Earth from Space" at Miller Outdoor Theatre

Set amid the beautiful surroundings of Hermann Park, a visit to Miller Outdoor Theatre is a reminder that urbanism and green spaces can coexist. Bring a blanket, lawn chair, munchables and beverages — but absolutely no glass containers.

Classical violinist Kenji Williams melds world music, dance and footage from NASA in "Bella Gaia," which means beautiful earth. Through time-lapse film of the Amazon and Arctic regions, Williams adds emotional content to the study of the elements that render Earth a living, breathing planet. Watch a video trailer here.

Saturday at 8 p.m. Admission is free, event is ticketed.

For the shopper: Discovery Green Flea

Why buy new when you can give a gently used object another chance at life? When sparkly and shiny just won't do, bargain shoppers head to Discovery Green for this monthly antique fete, which usually takes place on the third Saturday of the month.

It's a great place to find anything from vintage objects, whimsical collectibles, mid-century decorative arts and recycled, re-purposed and up-cycled items from vendors like Texas Art Asylum, Bill's Junk and Nan Stombaugh, which made April's scavenger hunt giveaway, a re-purposed box. Find the hidden treasure around the booths and it's yours to keep along with a $25 gift certificate for NanEdwardsCollection Jewelry.

Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Free.

For the science junkie: Earth Day Birthday at The John C. Freeman Weather Museum

For folks that tune in to the Weather Channel all the time (you know who you are) or those who can regurgitate lines from The Day After Tomorrow verbatim, it's time for a jaunt to The John C. Freeman Weather Museum, which is also turning six years old.

Grab the kiddos. Activities like a rain gauge relay, obstacle courses, face painting, seed plantings, mazes, a word find and arts and crafts get better with birthday cake, refreshments and popcorn. 

Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for children.

For the happy family: Earth Day Extravaganza at Children's Museum of Houston

It's no secret that most adults get a kick out of accompanying little ones to the Children's Museum of Houston, not only to watch the kids' reaction, but to engage in activities as well.

Alongside the museum's usual interactive exhibits that tie in to the theme, Texas Wildlife Rehab Center will be on hand for a show-and-tell of reptiles, opossums and owls, and the Texas Wildlife Association will teach about skins and skulls. Trees for Houston will have seedlings for guests to take home.

Hand on activities kick off with seed paper making and continue with making water bottle bird feeders and newspaper shade hats.

Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. Admission is $9 for adults and children, $8 seniors and free for babies under one year old.