(Correction: The article originally stated that Kids K-6th grade would receive a ticket for a drawing for an Ipad for every ten juice cartons they bring in. The correct item to be brought for a ticket is a juice pouch. ontact event organizers for details.)

By Julie Thibodeaux     

As Earth Day approaches, green festivals are sprouting up everywhere in North Texas. This year, Southlake kicks off the season with its fourth annual Green Fest on March 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Southlake Town Square.

The event, formerly called Southlake Green Day, is hosted by the nonprofit GreenFellows. Founder Audra Lewandowski said she started the eco-friendly expo to raise awareness of the plethora of green products and services available.

“The whole goal is educating people about what they can do to live in a more environmentally friendly way,” she said. “We’re all consumers. Whether we’re buying a toothbrush, carpet or a car, let’s get what we need in a green way so we have less impact on the environment, our health and our wallets,” she said, citing the cost savings of energy efficient products.

About 40 vendors will have booths at the festival showcasing everything from green home building materials to composting equipment. In addition, organizations such as the Bob Jones Nature Center, Historically Green, which promotes green home renovation, and Tarrant County Greenweavers, a green networking group, will be on hand to answer questions.

Event-goers can also drop off recycling. Rapid Refill will be accepting old ink cartridges. Batteries Plus will be collecting old batteries and CFL lightbulbs.

Meanwhile, kids in K through sixth grade can enter to win one of two Apple iPads being given away. For every 10 empty juice pouches they bring in, they will get a ticket for a drawing. Or they can enter a drawing by joining in a scavenger hunt and answering        (Photo: Rapid Refill Ink's Booth)                        environmentally themed questions.

The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History’s Sea ‘N’ Recycle Tunnel will be also on display. The exhibit, made from 8,000 plastic bottles, was inspired by Plastiki, a 60-foot boat made from plastic bottles, which was sailed from San Francisco to Sydney, Austrailia to raise awareness about marine pollution.

Entertainment scheduled includes Radio Disney, Top Flight Gymnastics and local musical group Sofie & David.

Organizers are expecting 2,000 people to attend. Lewandowski said she hopes event-goers will leave with a better idea of how they can make green changes in their lives to lessen their impact on the environment and improve their health.

“You can find a green alternative in just about everything. I am hard pressed to find a conventional product that I can’t also find a green version.”

For more information see https://texasgreenfest.com/

Below are some other green festivals coming up in DFW:

March 31 - Prairie Fest x3. Tandy Hills Natural Area, Fort Worth. 4 p.m. to dusk. Free guided wildflower tours, live music and food vendors on three days in spring. Also held April 28 and May 26.

April 5 - DCCCD Sustainability Summit. With a keynote address from Trammel Crow, numerous lunch speakers, and over 20 exhibitors showcasing their green products, this event is free to attendees and will feature sessions in five different tracks including Zero Waste and Sustainable Careers. More details on the page of the Sustainability Summit.  

April 14 – Fort Earth Party! Trinity Park, Fort Worth. 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Following the annual Cowtown Cleanup, this zero-waste event open to the public includes vendors, educational booths, free hotdog lunch, children’s activities and entertainment by the stomp band Vocal Trash. Bridgestone Tires will be accepting up to four tires per household to be recycled. www.FortWorthTexas.gov/KFWB

April 7 - EarthFest 2012. Connemara Meadow Preserve, Allen. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nature walks, bird watching, kayaking, wildlife demonstrations, kite flying. Non-profits from throughout North Texas participate. www.connemaraconservancy.org 

April 14 - Learn 2 Live Green. The Shops of Legacy, Plano. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free event featuring speakers, exhibits, workshops, compost fair, green art, urban gardening, fair-trade shopping, children’s activities and film fest. Learn to make a rain barrel and take one home for $50. Reservations required on activities with limited space. http://learn2livegreen.com

April 14 - Celebrate Nature. Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary, McKinney. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Outdoor festival with green vendors, demonstrations, children’s activities, live animal presentations and guided trail tours. The Dallas Paleo Society will be giving out free fossils for the kids or bring in your own fossils for identification by experts. Free to McKinney residents. Non-residents admission $6-$9. http://www.heardmuseum.org/

April 15 - EcoFest 2012. Promise of Peace Community Garden, Dallas. Noon to 5 p.m. Free event featuring eco-friendly vendors, live music. Children’s book author DyAnne DiSalvo will be signing copies of her book “City Green.” T-shirts designed by DiSalvo will be for sale. Proceeds go to the garden. Story time at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. http://www.promiseofpeace.us/1.html

April 21-22 - Earth Day Dallas. Fair Park, Dallas. Billed as one of the largest Earth Day celebrations in the U.S., this free two-day festival includes green exhibitors, speakers, children’s activities, live music, yoga, green film series and DFW Truck Farm 5K Fun Run. Participate in World’s Largest Picnic. Concession include healthy options. http://www.earthdaydallas.org/

April 22 - Oak Cliff Earth Day. Historic Lake Cliff Park. Noon to 5 p.m. The event will feature green vendors and nonprofits, artisans and animal adoptions. http://www.oakcliffearthday.com/ 

Julie Thibodeaux is a Fort Worth-based writer covering environmental issues, green topics and sustainable living. Previously, she worked as an editor and writer at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Contact her at [email protected]