Earth Day Round Up: A Billion Acts of Green
Earth Day was introduced on this same day in 1970. It is estimated that around 20 million Americans attended rallies around the country and helped clean up their local communities back then. The movement is now in its 41st year and has never been more important. Many of the issues that people were talking about back then are still pertinent now.
This movement prompted the passage of groundbreaking laws such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act. According to The Earth Day Network more than 1 billion people participate annually in Earth Day activities, making it the largest civic observance in the world. The Earth Day Network works with over 22,000 partners in 192 countries to spread its green message.
This year the theme is A Billion Acts of Green and the goal is to generate a billion acts of environmental service and advocacy before the global Earth Summit 2012 in Rio. You can submit your act of green at act.earthday.org. In the nineties, Earth Day was the forum used to launch recycling into the mainstream. Since then the focus has shifted to climate change and on the industrial side there has been tremendous progress made. In 2003, the number of companies voluntarily reporting their carbon footprint through the Carbon Disclosure Project was 235. In 2010, this number had risen to to 3,050 companies. This means that not only are consumers demanding changes but it also means that companies are realizing that is makes business sense to invest in carbon reduction .
World over Earth Day is being celebrated by people talking about their 'acts of green'. "Millions of people doing small, individual acts can add up to real change," said Chad Chitwood, a spokesman for the umbrella group coordinating efforts. The Billion Acts of Green effort has already reached 100 million green pledges from people around the globe. The pledges are recorded on a message board and separated into categories from transportation to energy to advocacy.
There are many things that can be done in view of Earth Day that you can add to the Acts of Green effort or not. The Nature Conservancy has been encouraging people to spend Earth Day outdoors which is great idea because it neatly coincides with spring time. The UK for example, has had a bumper crop of bluebells. Winter has finally lifted in many parts of the US so the weather is finally right to spend outside. Bonding with Nature automatically increases awareness and respect for the natural world. This makes it so easy to see what is out there to preserve, protect and worth fighting for.
Happy Earth Day everybody!
Photo Credit: Earth Day 2011 Google Doodle