If you don't play it right, Earth Day will be about guilt — your carbon footprint can seem a little Sasquatch in the light of everyone else's energy-efficient bulbs. Don't let it get that far.
Unplug some appliances and go get your hands dirty. Hit up one of the bevy of environmental do-gooder groups in the neighborhood, like (deep breath) the Northcoast Environmental Center, the Mad River Alliance, Humboldt Baykeeper, Friends of the Dunes, Humboldt Surfrider, the Trees Foundation, the Environmental Protection Information Center or Friends of the Eel River, and see what kind of work day it has planned from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 19.
When you're all done pulling invasive plants and scooping up trash, you'll be full of community and planetary pride. And you'll need a shower (low pressure, of course). Because at 3 p.m. you're heading to the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center for the second annual Earth Day Hoedown ($5 to $10 sliding scale, free to volunteers). Lyndsey Battle and the Striped Pig Stringband will be plucking and picking with Nigella Mahal calling dances. There will be games and a kids' corner, too, so everybody has a good time. Guilt free.