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“The Cut” is a weekly reporters notebook-type essay by an Ideastream Public Media content creator, reflecting on the news and on life in Northeast Ohio. What exactly does “The Cut” mean? It's a throwback to the old days of using a razor blade to cut analog tape. In radio lingo, we refer to sound bites as “cuts.” So think of these behind-the-scene essays as “cuts” from Ideastream's producers.

How to get involved and help the planet this Earth Day

Earth Day is celebrated Saturday April 22, 2023.
Earth Day is celebrated Saturday April 22, 2023.

Do you remember the movie "WALL-E"?

It’s the 2008 Pixar/Disney animated film about a cute little robot tasked with cleaning up a heavily-polluted, lifeless Earth. The Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class (WALL-E) robot searched for any sign of plants and organic life, after humans abandoned the unlivable planet to instead cruise in space, lightyears away from the trash and smog they left behind.

It’s been one of my favorite movies since I was a kid, partly because WALL-E is the cutest robot I’ve ever seen, but also because, even at eight years old, I worried that WALL-E’s reality would one day become my own.

Earth Day is this Saturday, April 22, and although developers are already working on massive space hotels, it’s important to remember that Earth is the only planet we have and to consider giving back before it’s too late.

Many organizations and communities across Northeast Ohio are holding Earth Day events, including presentations and litter cleanups, over the next two weekends to help educate about the importance of conservation, sustainability and environmentalism..

I'll be spending my Sunday at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History speaking with local environmental organizations about their efforts to preserve our natural resources. Reporting on the environment brings more learning opportunities with every story, so I'm looking forward to another chance to learn something new.

Here are more ways to get involved:

Saturday, April 22

Restoring Our Planet: Families can learn from local conservation organizations, and even take home their own free tree. The event is free to attend from noon to 4 p.m. at Kirtland’s Penitentiary Glen Reservation.

Party for the Planet: The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo will host earth friendly vendors, electric vehicle displays and a nature tracks vehicle from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and a show by the St. Edward Trash Talkers percussion ensemble from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The zoo is also hosting an Earth Day 5K from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Proceeds will go toward supporting green and sustainable practices at the zoo.

Hudson Earth Day Celebration: Attendees can hear from environmental vendors and watch an electric vehicle car show or the Rubber City Reuse Paper Shredding Truck. There will also be crafts for kids, raffles and educational presentations on composting, rain barrels and more. The event will be held from noon to 4 p.m. at Hudson City Hall.

Earth Day Hikes at Mentor Marsh: Cleveland Museum of Natural History naturalists will take visitors around the marsh to see ongoing work to restore the wetland habitat and take in views of spring wildflowers, birds and other wildlife. Hikes are being held at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. at Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve. Registration requested.

Newbury Township Tree Planting: The Geauga Park District is calling for volunteers to help plant native trees this Earth Day from 9 a.m. to noon at Veterans Legacy Woods. The area was formerly a golf course, and the planting will help return the area to a sustainable forest. Volunteers should dress for the weather and wear long pants and sturdy, closed-toed shoes.

Akron Ward 2 Litter Cleanup: Keep Akron Beautiful partnered with Akron Ward 2 Councilmember Phil Lombardo for the second year to help remove trash and litter from the area. The event runs from 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers removed more than 10,000 pounds of trash from the ward last year. Keep Akron Beautiful will also host a cleanup at Summit Lake on April, 29 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Sunday April 23

Earth Community Day: Attendees will hear from local organizations, including Alliance for the Great Lakes, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District and Women in Science and Engineering from Case Western Reserve University about ways to protect and preserve natural resources. The event will be held for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Cleveland Museum of Natural History. The program is included with general admission.

Saturday, April 29

Earth Fest 2023: Attendees can learn about solar and wind energy, the water cycle and spring plants from more than 25 businesses and organizations. The event is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church in Rocky River.

Parma Heights Earth Day Celebration: The city will hold an Earth Day celebration featuring local environmental education groups, activities, games, crafts and more from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Greenbrier Commons.

Big Creek Watershed Cleanup: The Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District’s 29th Annual watershed cleanup will help remove stream-side trash. Volunteers will learn about threats that affect the health of the stream and ways to prevent those threats. Bags and gloves are provided. Volunteers should dress for the weather and wear closed-toed shoes. The event takes place from 9 a.m. to noon, and volunteers should meet at Brookfield Park, Brooklyn City Fire Department or the Snow Road Picnic area along Big Creek Parkway at 8:45 a.m.

"The Cut" is featured in Ideastream Public Media's weekly newsletter, The Frequency Week in Review. To get The Frequency Week in Review, The Daily Frequency or any of our newsletters, sign up on Ideastream's newsletter subscription page.

Zaria Johnson is a reporter/producer at Ideastream Public Media covering the environment.