Earth Day Texas to Bring Opposing Voices Together

Where can you find the head of the Environmental Protection Agency sharing the spotlight with the very environmentalists who denounced his appointment?

The answer is Earth Day Texas, April 21-23 at Fair Park in Dallas.

"We're this open platform for discussion. We're unobstructed by politics and fueled by community engagement," said Earth Day Texas CEO Ryan Brown.

The three-day event is the largest Earth Day celebration in the country. The goal is to bring together people from two worlds that would seem to be opposed to one another: corporations and environmentalists.

"There's not a place that you can bring these folks together and get them in the same room, have that conversation, and hopefully precipitate some change or some policy move," Brown said. "This is a catalyst for it."

Visitors to Fair Park this weekend can hear eco-warriors talk conservation, go SCUBA diving, and learn how to live little in the tiny house village.

"It's cut down on my waste, it's cut down on my consumption," said Andrew Whittle, as he stood in the kitchen of his tiny home.

Whittle said the growing popularity of tiny homes is in conflict with what he calls the country's "go big" attitude. That apparent conflict has changed his life.

"Progress comes from conflict. A lot of the times when people have the need to fight for what they believe in good things come from it," he said.

Organizers have pulled out all the stops, literally. Big Tex has been moved from his familiar State Fair of Texas perch. In his place is the "Smart Flower" – a series of solar panels in the shape of sunflower that rotate and move with the sun.

"It sparks all kinds of unique conversations and brings out people of all ages who are looking to do the right thing environmentally, save money and look into energy independence," said Von Schafer, from Smart Flower North America.

Admission is free to Earth Day Texas.

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