Thursday is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation of the Earth's environment.
Locally, ECU will celebrate Earth Day along with its 31st annual Barefoot on the Mall. ECU, along with Aramark, will host several activities throughout campus including a Barefoot Lunch at West End Dining Hall and a farmer's market.
Students at Croatan High School in Swansboro will do their part for the planet by rebuilding a marsh on Jones Island in the White Oak River. The students will meet at Hammocks Beach State Park in Swansboro at 9 a.m. and then boat to the 22-acre island at the mouth of the river. There, they will plant marsh grass that slows shoreline erosion, filters pollution in the river and provides habitat for many estuarine species.
Retailers around the country will be offering some Earth Day freebies.
-Disney Stores will hand out 70,000 "eco" caps to kids who bring in six plastic bottles or aluminum cans.
-Pottery Barn Kids will hand out free plants to kids from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
-Stonyfield will give a free MP3 download of an unreleased Jack Johnson to folks who make Earth Day resolutions and share them online.
-Wegmans will hand out free reusable bags to customers who bring in bags filled with Wegmans plastic bags.
-Walgreens will refill printer cartridges in just $1 with a coupon in an effort to keep the spent cartridges out of landfills.
-Burt's Bees will hand out smoothies made with natural ingredients and fake beards to visitors in New York's Time Square.
-National Parks that usually charge fees are fee-free through Sunday.
*Follow the link below for a slide show of the top 10 Earth Day photos.