This Sunday is the 42nd global observance of Earth Day. Begun in 1970, Earth Day is widely credited as the event that launched the environmental movement and remains an important day of recognition, celebration, and commitment.
This year, the Earth Day Network is working to mobilize the planet by seeking environmental change with a united voice. Regrettably, the global financial crisis, ongoing threat of violence around the world, historic natural disasters, and a tense political climate has led environmental concerns to be shelved. Earth Day presents an opportunity for environmental priorities to come to our attention once again.
The purpose of Earth Day is action – it’s a day set aside to demonstrate your care for the protection of our planet. There are many ways to add your voice to the call for a sustainable future. Here are my top suggestions:
Attend an Earth Day Event
In communities across the world, millions of people will gather this weekend to honor the earth. Hosted by municipalities, private citizens, farms/natural places, and non-profit agencies, these events will range from the fun to the political. Visit your local newspaper’s events page for more information.
Pledge an Act of Green
The Earth Day Network is encouraging 1 Billion “Acts of Green.” These acts vary from the small and personal to the large and corporate. A sample of recent commitments include eating more local food, bringing own shopping bags to the store, and turning off the lights when they are not needed. You can make your own pledge here.
Plant a Tree
For more than 135 years, people have celebrated Arbor Day, a day to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. This year, the Arbor Day Foundation encourages you to observe this special day—April 27–by planting a tree, which they say “…is an act of optimism and kindness, a labor of love and a commitment to stewardship.” You can also visit the outdoors, promote a paper recycling project in your neighborhood to save trees, or make a financial donation to the Foundation.
Now more than ever, the earth needs our help. Earth Day is the perfect time to take a conscious action to save our environment. This could be political action—such as writing a letter to your Congress person—or community action—such as organizing a community event like the Awakening the Dreamer transformative workshop offered by The Pachamama Alliance. For more information on ways to get involved, visit the Earth Day Network’s Take Action website.
At Renewable Choice, we often comment on our role as educators and facilitators. No matter our job, each of our staff is committed to helping others understand the value of sustainability.
This Earth Day, get involved by educating yourself or someone else about the environmental challenges we are faced with. Get to know carbon emissions and the GHG Protocol. Learn more about the Carbon Disclosure Project’s Water Disclosure initiatives. Study up on environmental justice and the link between environmental degradation and poverty. Read a corporate CSR report.
What better way to honor the earth than to get outside and enjoy it! This weekend, make plans to visit a local, state, or national park. Visit your local farmer’s market. Take your kids to the playground. Pick up litter in your neighborhood. Go for a walk/run/ride/hike. Hit the beach—or the slopes. Play in your garden or yard. Soak up some sun. And while you’re at it, let yourself feel grateful for this unique and beautiful planet we all share.