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'Restore our Earth' | Earth Day 2021 celebrations in the Triad

The Piedmont Environmental Alliance is hosting its 16th Annual Earth Day fair virtually. UNCG is planting a tree and has a weekend full of in-person events.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Thursday marks the 51st anniversary of Earth Day.

The day is dedicated to love and appreciate the planet. 

The 2021 theme is 'Restore Our Earth'.

A nearly year-long lockdown caused by the pandemic has helped the world take a step in the right direction.

The global economy slowed down, and caused a domino effect that slowed demand in many aspects of everyday life.

Sean MacInnes sustainability specialist at University of North Carolina Greensboro said less carbon was emitted into the air from a global warming stand point.

“We defiantly saw a reduction in pollution we early on saw pictures of a clear sky, less electricity burning, less natural gas and producing less carbon dioxide and green houses gasses,” MacInnes said.

The Piedmont Environmental Alliance is hosting its 16th Annual Earth Day Fair virtually from April 19-23.

A gardening session, yoga, a green career fair and panel discussion are just some of the activities planned for the four day fair.

Executive director Jamie Maier said it's going to take big institutional shifts in order to continue to move in a direction that protects our planet.

“When people have stayed home and traveled less we've seen in local green spaces local animals come out that haven't been out,” Maier said. “We've seen a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, but I think that's a short term change.”

MacInnes said the road to recover isn’t as difficult as we think.

“In my opinion we already have the technology available to us,” MacInnes said. “Honestly if we have the right  policies and the right support from our governmental institutions we can meet goals using the technologies we have available to use we just need the will.”

UNCG has a full schedule of activities you can engage in this weekend to do your part.

A public tree planting event took place Thursday at the Elliott University Center lawn.

It's part in celebration of Earth Day and show their recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation as a tree campus.

A day hike at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park Saturday, and Sunday Funday spent at Piney Lake for some gardening, live music and painting are also planned.

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University celebrates Earth Day with a national, virtual panel discussion focusing on environmental issues.

NCAT and its College of Agriculture and Environmental Science will present "Environmental Justice, Equity & Sustainability: Earth Day Imperatives," on Thursday via Zoom.

If you can’t make it to any of these events shopping local, eating less meat and recycling properly are little steps you can take to give planet earth a break.