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20 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day in Truckee-Tahoe

March 19, 2024
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Here in Truckee, we believe that every day is an opportunity to celebrate and protect our incredible planet. On Earth Day (and always) we take a moment to appreciate the stunning natural landscapes of our mountain town and their vital role in human health, well-being, and enjoyment. Here are 20 ways you can join us in celebrating Earth Day on Monday, April 22, 2024 and all year long! 

Tahoe Truckee Earth Day, credit: Palisades Tahoe

1 - Tahoe Truckee Earth Day Festival at Palisades Tahoe 

Join in on the fun at this free, family festival at Palisades Tahoe, the largest Earth Day celebration in the region! Kids and adults will learn about recycling, composting, alternative energy, and sustainability through hands-on activities. There’s also live music, local food, and sustainably-minded vendors.

2 - Support Stewardship by Giving a Sustainable Truckee Gift Card

Give Sustainable Truckee Gift Cards to friends, family and coworkers this Earth Day! It’s the perfect sustainable gift that supports stewardship and shopping local at 58 locations in Truckee. For every card sold, Visit Truckee-Tahoe is matching 25% of card value for Sustainable Truckee stewardship programs and sponsorships.  So far, VTT has contributed major funding for Truckee’s free microtransit shuttle (TART Connect), free bike valet at Music in the Park and Truckee Thursdays, two all-inclusive & adaptive trails for EveryBODY™, recreate responsibly trailhead signage, and more.

3 - Use Truckee's Free "Around Town" On-Demand Shuttle

Sustainability isn’t just about supporting local businesses and being a responsible visitor but also making decisions to reduce your carbon footprint. Instead of driving on Earth Day, consider using TART Connect, a free shuttle that services all of Truckee! The on-demand service provides curb-to-curb rides from your lodging to downtown Truckee, Donner Lake, the Legacy Trail, and many more popular locations. It’s easy to use, and you can even enjoy a glass of wine or local craft beer guilt-free since you won’t have to drive. 

  • Winter Hours: 6:30am to midnight daily from Dec 14, 2023 to April 7, 2024.
  • Spring Hours: 6:30am to 10pm daily from April 8, 2023 to June 27, 2024.

How to Use:

  1. Download the TART Connect APP on Android or Apple
  2. Order a ride through the app
  3. Get picked up in as little as 15 minutes
Truckee River Legacy Trail, credit: Paul Hamill

4 - Bike to Historic Downtown on Truckee’s Scenic Paved Trails

It feels great to leave the car at home and hop on a bike instead - a great way to reduce carbon emissions and enjoy our fresh mountain air!  Truckee’s scenic paved trails make it easy to get around without the stress or hassle of biking on the road. Learn more on our trails page.

5 - Learn About The Original Stewards Of Truckee-Tahoe

The Washoe Tribe has called Truckee-Tahoe home since time immemorial. They are the original stewards and caretakers of the lands that we know and love today. A great place to learn about their history and culture - past and present - is at Donner Memorial State Park. Spend a day exploring the Visitor Center and visiting exhibits that tell the story of the Washoe and their relationship to the land.

6 - Use a Green Box To-Go Container for Takeout

Wish there was a zero-waste alternative to cardboard, plastic, or styrofoam takeout boxes? There is! The Truckee Green Box is a reusable to–go container that you can use at nine restaurants in Truckee including Maki Ali Sushi and Best Pies Pizzeria! We love that it reduces waste, keeps single use items out of landfills, and cuts down on litter. Be sure to ask your lodging provider if green boxes are available to use during your stay.

7 - Travel With Purpose & Give Back Through Volunteering

Whether you’re a visitor or resident, everyone can have an impact on Truckee-Tahoe’s environment and community by volunteering with one of the many nonprofit organizations in the region. Giving back is a great way to support local stewardship and meet locals who share your passion for sustainability. By donating a small amount of your time, you can contribute to meaningful change while gaining a unique travel experience along the way! Check out our Volunteering page to get involved.

Green Box To-Go Container, credit: Keep Truckee Green

8 - Drink Truckee Tap

Truckee’s water comes from the Martis Valley groundwater basin and is arguably some of the best in the world. The water is typically 500-1,000+ years old, requires very little treatment, and comes out of the tap cold, making it refreshing. Skip the middleman and fill up a reusable water bottle with that oh-so delicious water. If you didn’t bring your own water bottle, buy one from one of the many local shops.

9 - Visit Midweek or During The Off-Season

Visiting during off-peak periods, like midweek or during the spring or fall, is a sustainable travel decision that helps bolster Truckee's local economy and reduce environmental impacts. Plus, you'll get to skip holiday and peak period traffic and trailhead congestion. Consider a trip during the off-season such as on Earth Day itself. You’ll get to spend more enjoying what makes Truckee-Tahoe special. 

10 - Shop Local & Support Sustainably-Minded Shops & Boutiques

Another fun way to celebrate Earth Day is to shop local. Compared to large corporate owned businesses, specialty shops & boutiques have a much smaller carbon footprint. With a small budget, they’re intentional on what they purchase and use. Product typically require less forms of transport and less waste. Plus, because our local businesses employ Truckee locals and support Truckee nonprofits, most of all your dollars spent stay in the Truckee community. Start with six sustainably minded shops in Truckee.

11 - BYOB - Bring Your Own Bag or Bottle

Plastic bags can clog drains, contaminate soil, and take over 1,000 years to break down. Many of us when at home bring reusable totes to the grocery store or to visit a shop. Take the extra step and bring a few with you on your trip to Truckee. In fact, get a large, reliable tote bag that doubles as a carrying case and a purse, so you can keep all your things together in one place. Two Ways to BYOB in Truckee.

12 - Be Featured On “Local Voices Making Climate Choices”

Inspire others this Earth Day by sharing what do you do to live sustainably. Together, our daily habits can create meaningful change! Check out our Local Voices page to hear from Truckee-Tahoe locals who care about our environment and climate, and be sure to share YOUR voice and join us.

13 - Leave No Trace and Recreate Responsibly (Summer & Winter)

The Recreate Responsibly guidelines and Seven Principles of Leave No Trace are a simple yet powerful tools to help us understand how to respect the environment, local communities, and all who enjoy the outdoors. Earth Day is the perfect occasion to refresh our knowledge of how to “take care” during travels and outdoor adventures. Check out the blogs below to learn more.

14 - All Aboard! Zip Up To Truckee Via The Zephyr

For most people, the biggest carbon footprint is transportation. If you live in the Bay Area or Sacramento, consider hopping on the California Zephyr, the Amtrak train that connects San Francisco to Truckee, and continues all the way to Chicago! The adventure begins as soon as you hop on the passenger car. Enjoy a glass of wine or cold frosty beer as you take in the scenery. Best of all, you’ll reduce the stress of being stuck in traffic, AND by taking a train instead of a car, you’ll cut your emissions by ~80%.

15 - Keep Wildlife Wild

Truckee-Tahoe is home to over 290 animals including black bears and more than 1,000 plant species. While the furry creatures are cute to see, be sure to give them space and DO NOT feed them. Doing so can have problematic consequences not just for the animals but for the entire community. Use that zoom lens and enjoy wildlife watching from a distance!

16 - Sample Local Flavor

One of the best parts of traveling is to experience the local flavors in the food. Truckee is home to arguably some of the best mountain cuisine in the country with an array of award-winning restaurants. And most source organic food, produce, meats and fish locally. If you’re lucky enough to rent lodging with a kitchen, consider visiting our local grocery stores such as the Tahoe Food Hub. They supply the Truckee community with local food grown by regenerative farming practices.

17 - Be A Role Model

Be a role model for those who may not be familiar with how we take care in the mountains. Take it upon yourself to teach kids and friends about good outdoor habits. You don’t have to wait until you’re in nature either. It can be done at home by doing things such as pitching a tent and playing games that encourage ‘leave no trace’ habits.

18 - Take The Traveler Responsibility Pledge

It’s been proven that spending time in nature is crucial for each person’s health. And yet it’s up to all of us to recreate responsibly. Instead of just glossing over these ideas, we urge you as a visitor or resident to take “The Pledge” this Earth Day.

19  - Go for a Human Powered Adventure

Back on April 22, 1970, a senator from Wisconsin created Earth Day to shine a light on the environment and its importance to us. Student movements along with this day helped eventually lead to national legislation such as the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. In honor of this day, head out for a human powered adventure that you’ve never done or a place you’ve never been to. Rent a pair of snowshoes. Book a backcountry skiing tour with a certified guide.

20 - Slow Down and Appreciate Nature with Forest Bathing

While centuries old, it wasn’t until the 80’s in Japan when many workers were experiencing burn out that companies began prescribing it. Forest therapy worked so well that it’s now integrated with national healthcare practices in Asia and recognized as a stress reduction method. In fact, it's a bonafide way to combat chronic illness. If you’re feeling a bit stressed or off kilter, try pressing pause for a moment on the adrenaline and immerse yourself in nature via Forest Bathing. 5 Steps to Forest Bathing Anywhere.

What did we miss? Let us know how you are celebrating Earth Day in Truckee-Tahoe!

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