With all of the Easter celebrations happening over the past weekend, it was easy to forget about another important event - Earth Day. This year, Earth Day, which is celebrated annually on April 22, coincided with Good Friday. But don't worry! For all of those whose Easter festivities overshadowed their usual Earth Day celebrations, here is a belated Earth Day post just for you.
The inaugural Earth Day event happened in 1970, and involved over 20 million Americans nationwide speaking out for a sustainable environment. The event helped move environmental issues to the forefront of the political agenda and paved the way for the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency and the series of Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. Since then, Earth Day has become a worldwide event, involving hundreds of millions of people in lifting environmental issues to the world stage.
41 years later, Earth Day is bigger than ever, with an estimated 1 billion people participating in 180 countries. Numerous events took place here in Seattle, including park cleanups, concerts, and a prayer vigil for climate action and protection.
In the wake of Earth Day 2011, it is important to remember that living sustainably means more than being "green" for a day. Earth Day is a great opportunity to reflect on the way we live our lives the other 364 days of the year.
If you had to skip your favorite Earth Day event this year, here are some interesting ways you can participate in a more lasting way:
Miir Bottles is inviting people to participate in their pledge to give up bottled water for a year. Americans throw away 123 single-use plastic water bottles per person every year. Many of these end up in our oceans, contributing to major global marine pollution problems.
Kiva, the online microfinance organization which gives small loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries, recently introduced Kiva Green Loans, an opportunity to provide small loans to promote clean and renewable energy.
Most importantly, find ways to care for the environment in everyday life. Recycle. Compost. Leave the car at home. Every little bit makes a difference.
So happy (belated) Earth Day! May we continue to be environmentally conscious throughout the year and commit to living more sustainably.