Throughout its 40 plus year history Earth Day has been a rallying point for millions of personal acts intended to help save the environment.
It has sparked rallies and marches, demonstrations and parades, contests and car washes, and with the aid of the Internet and social media tools it has become a global moment in time to signal the importance of living more sustainably.
Earth Day street and stream clean ups, recycling drives, letter writing campaigns and similar calls to reduce, reuse, and recycle have shaped the minds of two generations of eco-conscious youth on the importance of protecting our natural environment.
And of course, it has sparked endless political speeches with buttons, banners and policy oriented statements. Even businesses have been involved, not only through sponsorships of this annual celebration, but also by cutting wastage, lowering the energy use, and changing the way they operate to become more ecologically balanced.
This year’s theme for Earth Day 2011 is ‘A Billion Acts of Green: Personal, organizational and corporate pledges to live and act sustainably’.
Like its more recent companion Earth Hour, Earth Day has shown that for one brief moment, we can come together in common cause to make a difference, to show that change is indeed possible.
For one brief shining moment!
But this has been an issue from the beginning – how to make the promises made on that one day realities that can shape every day.
Many have sought to make Earth Day a vehicle to make lasting changes - a day of commitment that leads to meaningful results across the full spectrum of our society, in terms of how we live, what we eat, how we move about, and how to give back to the earth more than what we take from it.
It is a tall order and clearly there are no easy answers or quick fixes, or 10 easy steps to a better world. If it were that easy we would have done it already.
Earth Day does count – and every act of change must be celebrated and embraced. It takes only one act of personal commitment for a young mind to become the spark that leads to a scientific breakthrough that could help us all to live in better harmony with the earth that sustains us.
So how do we make Earth Day Every Day? One way is to hold individuals, institutions, businesses and governments to account for the commitments they make on that one important day to follow through and to make them real.
This is not to suggest that such changes have not happened- they have, and many progressive businesses are indeed cutting wastage, lowering the energy use, changing their way of operating to become more ecologically balanced.
But in truth, without ongoing oversight those commitments can easily give way to business as usual.
For its part GLOBE will try to make a difference.
In our EPIC Events we’ll show how to make Earth Day Every Day! And everyday we’ll give you choices in your daily life that will allow you to save money and to save the earth
Join us and help Make Earth Day Every Day.
John D. Wiebe
President and CEO
The GLOBE Foundation