Celebrate Earth Day Golden-style

John Akal, Avenue Flashes
Posted

I remember the first Earth Day. It was April 22, 1970, and I was about 10 years old. It was kind of a big deal as it pretty much sparked the beginning of the modern environmental movement and brought worldwide attention to all things that were causing damage to the planet we live on.

If you were around before those times, you will remember how bad things were getting. Cars used to spew out visible exhaust fumes, trash was thrown all over the highways and nobody really cleaned it up much, chemicals were flowing into the water supplies, factories would expel horrible smelling clouds from their smokestacks, and in general, things were starting to get to be a mess all over.

Throughout the 1970s awareness was growing, people started taking action and it was cool to be environmentally conscious. But, somehow throughout the last decade or more, we all have started to take things a little bit for granted and Earth Day sort of got lost a bit in the shuffle of other occasions.

Now when it comes to the environment, all we seem to hear about is the debate over global warming.

Well, Monday, April 22, is rolling around pretty soon, and yes, it’s still Earth Day. Right here in Golden, there is a group of folks that plan on spending their day peddling around town by participating in the first of the National Bicycle Greenway’s Mayors rides for 2013. It’s a 15-mile bicycle tour of Golden that will be leaving from Golden Oldy Cyclery at 9:30 a.m..

The good news is that they don’t plan on riding up Lookout Mountain, so you won’t need to be in triathlon shape to join them. The bike tour will be followed by a museum open house.

You will need to bring a helmet, and they suggest a rear view mirror if you have one.

Golden Oldy Cyclery is a sustainable transportation museum located in a private residence at 17224 W. 17th Place. For more information call 720-497- 100.

Now, all you need to do is remember where you put those bicycle shorts last fall.

Your own little piece of the Earth

Now that winter is over it’s probably a good time to start thinking about doing some projects while the weather is warm to get your house ready and energy efficient for when the snow comes back next Fall. It’s kind of inconvenient to be taking your windows out to replace them when there’s a blizzard brewing outside. If you are like me, you usually forget about things like getting your house winterized until the weather reminds you that you should have done that in July.

This Earth Day you might want to attend a presentation titled the “Do-It-Yourself Energy Audit Workshop” presented by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory as part of their After Hours Lecture Series. Hosted by Carl Weiner, Clean Energy Specialist from Colorado State University’s Extension Program, you can learn how to reduce your home energy bills and usage without costing you a fortune. He will show you how to conduct your own personal energy audit to see where things can be improved, then he will teach you how to do things to improve it right away.

This will also be happening on Monday, April 22 from 6-7 p.m. The lecture is free and will be at the NREL Visitor’s Center, 15013 Denver West Parkway, Golden. For more information and to make a reservation give them a call at 303-384-6565. If you want to check out what the NREL does, go to their website at www.NREL.gov. They are the guys with the giant windmills you that see on the way up to Boulder.

John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multimedia production.