Embrace the Earth

Find joyful, creative, and useful ways to care for our planet at a local Earth Day event.

Illustration by Lila Volkas

In this newsletter:

●   Earth Day fun and learning at the Brower Center: April 18
●   Volunteer at earth-friendly projects in Oakland: April 18
●   Reflect on soul and soil in Lafayette: April 19
●   Guide to Earth Day events around the Bay
●   Explore new tastes at Oakland Veg Week: April 19–26
●   Book reviews: Eating Plant-Strong!
●   Recipe: Mint chocolate chip milkshake from Café Gratitude


Celebrate Earth Day at the David Brower Center with activities about protecting and honoring our planet. Enjoy family art projects, bike tuning, fix-it workshops, children’s storytelling, organic food, a panel on carbon farming, and more. Cost: Free; $10 suggested donation. Info: here

Saturday April 18, noon–6pm
David Brower Center
2150 Allston Way, Berkeley

Oakland Earth Day: Clean It, Green It, Mean It

Lend a hand by weeding, pruning, planting, painting, and more at the city’s largest community volunteer event, sponsored by Oakland Public Works. Info: here

Saturday April 18
Various locations


Illustration by Lila Volkas

The Blessing of Common Ground

All are invited to an Earth Day Festival hosted by Our Savior’s Lutheran Church at the Lafayette Reservoir. Join this reflection on soil and soul with representatives from Riverdog Farm and Farmer Al from Frog Hollow Farms, followed by a tour and hands-on workshop at the Lafayette Community Garden. Donation optional; $10 parking pass needed. Info: here

OSLC Earth Day Festival
Sunday April 19, 9:30–11am
Lafayette Reservoir stage (near the children’s playground)

Sand lovers can celebrate Earth Day on Stinson Beach at this create-with-nature event. Photo: Zach Pine

Earth Day Around the Bay

For many people, Earth Day marks the anniversary of the start of the modern environmental movement in 1970. Celebrations and opportunities for learning, creating, and volunteering are planned all around the Bay. Event info: here

Take the Veg Pledge!

Going vegan or vegetarian saves water and reduces greenhouse gases and pollution of waterways. Join in for a week of cooking demos, tastes, talks, and more. Saturday April 25 marks the first VegFest, with speakers, local merchants, and plenty of food samples. The week’s highlights include Vegan Soul Sunday, Meatless Monday, Movie Tuesday, Cheese Wednesday, and more. Info: here

Sunday April 19–Sunday April 26
Oakland Veg Week
Various locations

Eating Plant-Strong!

Reviews by Kristina Sepetys

The choice to follow a vegan or vegetarian diet might be for health reasons, such as to control weight, blood pressure, or cholesterol. For some, it might be to honor personal commitments to living sustainably. Many people who follow plant-intense diets are interested in choosing varied and balanced ingredients to ensure proper nutrition and maintenance of good health. The cookbooks below share different personal approaches to nutritious, satisfying, plant-based eating. Visit our website for additional reviews of vegan and vegetarian cookbooks.

Read the reviews 

Cafe-GratitudeI Am Cool

Café Gratitude is well known in Berkeley as an early innovator in plant-based cuisine. They call their work an “expression of a world of plenty,” adding that their “food and people are a celebration of our aliveness.” The owners, Terces and Matthew Engelhart, run a 14-acre orchard and farm outside of Vacaville that provides organic food to the restaurants (up to 50{94d79dd6af1e87a94e700e4c297236468333f22e27ed5757b44711974a9a4b91} during peak production season), and they also support local farmers, sustainable agriculture, and environmentally friendly products.

They operate quite a few other locations, in addition to the Berkeley café at 1730 Shattuck Avenue, where they are open every day 10am to 10pm.

Cafegratitude.com, 510.725.4418

Rebecca Ainsworth, the general manager in Berkeley, offers our readers this lovely milkshake recipe:

Cafe Gratitude is a popular spot in Berkeley, known for its 100{94d79dd6af1e87a94e700e4c297236468333f22e27ed5757b44711974a9a4b91} organic, plant-based cuisine. Photos courtesy of Café Gratitude

Cafe Gratitude is a popular spot in Berkeley, known for its 100{94d79dd6af1e87a94e700e4c297236468333f22e27ed5757b44711974a9a4b91} organic, plant-based cuisine. Photos courtesy of Café Gratitude

I Am Cool: mint chocolate chip milkshake

4 ounces almond milk
3 scoops coconut ice cream
10 mint leaves
1 tablespoon raw cacao nibs
1/2 teaspoon powdered spirulina

Pulse gently together till desired consistency is reached.