Southern California environment news and trends

Heal The Bay wants you for Earth Month

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prayitno/Flickr CC

Santa Monica Beach.

Heal The Bay is supersizing Earth Day. The Santa Monica-based nonprofit environmental group is expanding the concept to launch Earth Month next month with more than 50 events across L.A. County throughout April.

Among the many festivals and outreach programs are a series of volunteer-based events that are expected to draw thousands of participants, particularly over Earth Day weekend, April 21-22.

According to a press release, people interested in getting involved can pre-register at www.healthebay.org, with a volunteer orientation scheduled for the evening of April 9 at Heal The Bay’s main office in Santa Monica.

For Earth Day, Heal The Bay’s monthly “Nothin’ But Sand” beach cleanup in Santa Monica will feature the star power of Ian Somerhalder, best known as the main hot guy on TV show “The Vampire Diaries.” It’s all in conjunction with Somerhalder’s Foundation and its “Get Dirty” initiative, with Whole Foods Market and the California Coastal Commission also getting involved.

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Celebrating sustainable California wines

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John Rabe

California has long been recognized for producing some of the finest wines in the world. Now there’s a new campaign that shines a spotlight on the wealth of sustainable winemaking practices throughout the state.

A host of winemakers and growers have come together for "California Wines: Down to Earth,” a month-long and statewide event that will include eco-focused vineyard tours and wine tastings, “green wine trails,” hands-on workshops and wine and food festivals to celebrate Earth Day, which falls on Sunday, April 22 this year.

"These experiences make April a great time to learn about our California wines and the environmentally and community-friendly practices used to grow and produce them," said Robert P. Koch, president and CEO of Wine Institute (who created the campaign) in a press release. "More than two-thirds of California's wine-grape growers and winemakers have adopted our sustainable program and participation is increasing, making ours one of the most widely adopted in the wine world."

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NBA All-Star Game helps clean up Orlando

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Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Blake Griffin from the L.A. Clippers is among the all-stars heading to Orlando this weekend.

Much like Hollywood making green amends during the week leading up to the Academy Awards, the National Basketball Association is maximizing their time in Orlando, FL, the host city for this year’s NBA All-Star Game.

With the game itself happening this Sunday, it was last weekend that the NBA teamed up with Sprint and city of Orlando, Keep Orlando Beautiful and Creative Recycling to present the All-Star E-Recycling event. As reported by Earth 911, the NBA set up shop last Saturday at Orlando Festival Park to collect electronic waste, including TVs, computers, mobile devices and more. The big draw was that for every car dropping off e-recyclables was given a free pair of tickets to the four-day NBA All-Star Jam Session, a massive interactive event happening this weekend. It’s where fans can participate in a wide variety of activities and meet NBA stars in town for the big game.

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