Chicago Green Festival Hundreds of green businesses hawk their wares, including organic beer and wine and vegetarian food. Activities include workshops, films, yoga, kids’ programs, and talks by Bill Ayers (see the Business), columnist Jim Hightower, conceptual artist Damali Ayo, and others. aFri 5/15, 11 AM-6 PM, Sat 5/16, 10 AM-7 PM, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand, 312-595-5184, greenfestivals.org, $15, $10 students, bike riders, and union members.
Chicago Parks Earth Day Cleanup Volunteers can mulch, plant seedlings, and clean up debris and trash. Sign up at Friends of the Parks’ Web site (fotp.org). aSat 4/18, 9 AM-noon, 312-857-2757.F
Chicago River Day Festival Three hours of volunteer work followed by a festival with music, crafts, and free food for workers (it’s also open to the general public). Participants can choose from 60+ sites along the river to help with litter collection, invasive species removal, and trail maintenance. Register at the Friends of the Chicago River Web site (chicagoriver.org). aSat 5/9, 9 AM-3 PM, River Park, 5100 N. Francisco, 312-939-0490.F
Earth Day Green Tea This Morton Arboretum fund-raiser combines an organic tea tasting, an eco-fashion show with designs from Lara Miller, Alice Berry, Deanna Hodges, and Linda Laudermilk, and a presentation by NBC 5 meteorologist/environment reporter Ginger Zee. aWed 4/22, 1 PM, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle, 630-725-2066, mortonarb.org, $47.
From the Microscope to the Macroscope: Applying Biomimicry in the Built Environment This panel discussion hosted by the Chicago Architecture Foundation presents experts in the emerging field of biomimicry, or studying nature’s systems and imitating them to solve human problems. Sustainable design specialists from the architectural firm HOK will discuss how it applies to architectural design. aMon 4/20, 6-7:30 PM, Columbia College Film Row Cinema, 1104 S. Wabash, architecture.org.F
Gardening Small Urban Spaces Shedd Aquarium horticulture manager Christine Nye gives a presentation on maximizing the productivity of small patches of land, covering square foot gardening and ornamental displays. Registration required. aSat 4/25, 1-3 PM, Chicago Center for Green Technology, 445 N. Sacramento, 312-746-9642.F
Grant Park Earth Day Celebration Volunteers can help mulch the trees and bushes of Grant Park’s Hutchinson Field, sprucing up the centerpiece of Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan of Chicago just in time for centennial celebrations. aSat 4/18-Sun 4/19, 9 AM-noon, Balbo & Columbus, grantparkconservancy.com.F
Green and Growing Urban Gardening Fair Tips and tricks for getting a garden started in the city, plus free food and pole bean seed packets. Demonstrations cover square foot gardening, composting, and rot pots. aSat 4/25, 10 AM-3 PM, Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park, 773-251-7515, greennetchicago.org.F
Greening Your Office First in a three-part series of lunchtime presentations on making your workplace eco-friendly, covering energy conservation, waste reduction, green transportation, and property management. aThu 4/23, 12:15 PM, Chicago Architecture Foundation ArchiCenter, 224 S. Michigan, 312-922-3432, chicagogreenofficechallenge.org.F
Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Spring cleaners can dispose of toxic, corrosive, and flammable waste, including household chemicals, lead- and oil-based paint, gas cans (trade for an eco-friendly one), gas-powered lawn mowers (trade for a $100 rebate on a push or electric mower), computers, cell phones, and old medications. Latex paint and working TVs will not be accepted. You can also pick up a free CFL bulb and buy a discounted compost bin ($35) or rain barrel ($45). aSat 4/18, 9AM-3 PM, U.S. Cellular Field parking lot, 333 W. 35th; Sat 5/9, 9 AM-3 PM, DeVry University north parking lot, 3300 N. Campbell Ave, 312-744-7606, cityofchicago.org/environment.F
Irish Earth Day Festival This festival, the first of its kind at the Irish American Heritage Center, will showcase businesses and nonprofits promoting sustainability; there’ll also be activities for kids and live music. aSat 4/18, 10 AM-4 PM, 4626 N. Knox, 773-282-7035, irish-american.org.F
North Lake Shore Earth Day Loyola has assembled a dizzying slate of speakers, workshops, and activities for a celebration intended to bring together north-side communities. Plans include a green fair with environmentally friendly vendors; presentations by Helen Cameron of Uncommon Ground, Rick Davis of Heifer International, and others; free bike rentals; children’s activities; free organic and vegan food; and talks by congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and senator Heather Steans. aSat 4/25, 9 AM-4:30 PM, Loyola University, Quinlan Life Sciences Building, 1050 W. Sheridan, 773-508-7450, luc.edu/earthday.F
See chicagoreader.com for more green events.