Routine recycling aside, too many people treat our planet like a redheaded stepchild. Show Mama Earth some love by celebrating her green greatness at various Earth Day events.
At the Metreon, kids can create environmentally friendly art while grown-ups watch the Sierra Club's Green Film Festival and try out energy-efficient home electronics. Or hit "Earth Day for Life" at Ghirardelli Square for soil-savvy displays and children's crafts. But if you really want to be one with the dirt, volunteer with the California State Parks Foundation's "Earth Day 2004 Restoration & Cleanup" and help spruce up local nature meccas such as Candlestick Point State Recreation Area and Golden Gate Park. Cleanup projects begin at 9 a.m.; call (888) 987-2757 or visit www.calparks.org for a list of participating sites and meeting places. Metreon activities begin at noon at 101 Fourth St. (at Mission), S.F.; call 369-6000. "Earth Day for Life" starts at noon at 900 North Point (at Larkin), S.F.; call 775-5500. Participation in all events is free.
-- Charyn Pfeuffer
With the requirement of 1,000 kicks per hour per martial arts student, the Triangle Taekwon Do Kickathon's titled without exaggeration. The mostly LGBT students earn dough to participate in the Pride Parade starting at 9 a.m. in Dolores Park, Dolores between 18th and 20th streets, S.F. Watching is free; call 495-1888 or visit www.triangletkd.org.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
In much of the modern world, the tiny things that fly, creep, and skitter are more likely to meet with a can of Raid than an appreciative reception. But though squeamish types see little good in most bugs, without those insects agriculture -- and humans themselves -- couldn't survive. Give props to beneficial critters at "Beyond Bug Day: Bees, Bats, & Other Pollinators," a daylong festival dedicated to learning about pollen-carrying creatures. See a bustling bee house, hold a hardworking silkworm, and rustle up some bug-themed crafts starting at 10 a.m. at the Randall Museum, 199 Museum (at Roosevelt), S.F. Admission is free; call 554-9600 or visit www.randallmuseum.org.
-- Joyce Slaton
The deck-shoe set waves "hello" to a new season of watery fun at "Opening Day on the Bay." As captains pilot scores of gussied-up modern schooners and historical vessels in a lavish decorated-boat parade from the Presidio to the piers, the landlocked watch from the waterfront. Catch the sea breeze starting at noon along San Francisco's northern shoreline, from Crissy Field (Halleck & Mason) to Pier 39 (Beach & Embarcadero). Rubbernecking is free; call (209) 529-3678 or visit www.picya.org.
-- Joyce Slaton