What is Earth Day really about?

iStock_000001472480Medium Green Solutions SlideApril 22 marks the 45th Earth Day celebration. The holiday is devoted to building an awareness for environmental needs and understanding of how our actions impact the Earth.

Earth Day Founder U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson created the movement to fight water and air pollution and encourage people to recognize the need to protect the environment on a global scale. Earth Day has had the unique ability to bring people of all ages, income and ethnicity together in an effort to protect and save the environment – we simply cannot survive without it. It provides us with a stable climate, clean air, food and water.

In many parts of the country, local governments are focused on reducing their carbon footprint through the use of renewable energy resources and in an effort to become a Green City. Because nearly 50% of all carbon dioxide emissions come from commercial and residential buildings, new construction is focused on using renewable energy – making the buildings both efficient and sustainable. Efforts such as improving building codes and installing solar panels can help reduce energy use drastically. Many leaders dream of the “city of the future,” where solar-powered public transportation, electric cars and energy-efficient homes will be the status quo.

These ideas may seem crazy now, but could soon be a reality and the norm.

How to Celebrate Earth Day

  • Attend an educational event. You can find one here: http://www.earthday.org/greencities/events/
  • Grow something! Plant a tree, flowers or bushes.
  • Make nature crafts.
  • Learn more about the environment at your local library.
  • Host an educational session for your friends or children, or at a local school (with permission).
  • Recycle and repurpose.
  • Hold a garage sale or donate unused items.
  • Clean up litter.
  • Buy earth-friendly materials.
  • Save energy by upgrading outdated appliances and turning off lights and electronics when they are not in use.
  • Ride a bike or take a walk instead of driving.
  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
  • Take shorter showers.

Learn more about Earth Day initiatives at www.earthday.org.

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