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On Sunday, Moscow Goes Eco-Friendly

Environmentally conscious people from the Maldive Islands to, yes, even Moscow will be staging thousands of events to raise awareness about climate change, mitigate its effects and pressure policymakers this Sunday.

The worldwide day of action, or Global Work Party, is being called the most widespread day of environmental action in history by 350.org, the environmental organization running the event.

The “350” refers to what the group — citing the latest scientific consensus — calls the safe limit of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in parts per million. We’re at about 390 now, and rising.

But saving the world doesn’t have to be a bore. Event organizers in Moscow are reaching out beyond the rank and file to families with a slew of events designed to be fun, social and educational.

The Jerry Rubin club, located near metro station Universitet, is going family-friendly with its “Really Free Market,” where visitors can exchange children’s toys, books and films, as well as enjoy eco-themed cartoons, live music, outdoor games and master classes.

This is also the place to calculate your “carbon footprint,” or how much carbon dioxide your activities generate, and learn about ways to reduce it.

“The goal is to make the world around us more comfortable here and now. To do this, all you need is the desire and to take the first step,” said Alexander Tomilov, one of the event’s organizers.

The Chistka Odezhdy gallery in Kitai-Gorod and the Eco-Loft center are also holding Really Free Markets to help people recycle the things they don’t use by sharing them with others. Really Free Markets are also places where people can share skills, from calligraphy to bike repair, as well as eco-friendly tips for big-city living.

“We’re trying to attract lots of different types of people,” said Eco-Loft’s Anastasia Svetlova. “That’s why we’re holding master classes on various subjects, from sewing to collages made out of old magazines — a particular hit with children.”

Greenpeace Russia will hold an acorn-collection drive on Sunday in Dubki Park located near metro station Timiryazevskaya.

“It’s really more of an educational program for young people than an ecological one,” said Vera Bakasheva, a Greenpeace activist.

Volunteers have already gathered 4 tons of acorns to send to nurseries in wildfire-ravaged central Russia. The 400,000 or so oak trees the seeds will produce is only a drop in the bucket compared with what’s been lost, she said, but the most important thing is to teach children to value the environment.

For information, including venue addresses, on all the events taking place in Moscow, visit www.350.org. For more information on Really Free Market events, see http://ecowiki.ru.

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