Join the Movement – A Billion Acts of Green

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by Cassie on April 22, 2011

in Connect, Green Resources

Be a part of the largest environmental movement on Earth.

By now we all know that Earth Day is not just one day of the year – it’s every day that we make an effort to live more lightly on the planet we call home. What started as small, grassroots efforts to bring environmental consciousness into communities across the country has grown in scale, having significant impact throughout the year and ushering in an unprecedented degree of mainstream awareness. Visit an environmental history timeline.

It was apparent in 1970 and is apparent today that individual acts of carelessness, selfishness and even naivety are responsible for the large-scale environmental disaster we are beginning to experience. It stands to reason that if we’ve destroyed the planet with individual acts, that we can curve the trend and work to undo the damage with everyday acts of consciousness.

Consider challenging yourself and your family, friends and co-workers to make a couple of commitments this Earth Day—think of it as a New Year’s resolution that you will actually keep! Maybe you will walk your kids to school two days a week, or you will ride your bike five times a month, or maybe you will remember to use your own shopping bags instead of plastic, most of the time. These are small things that might take some extra time to consider at first, but will soon become part of your normal routine.

The impact of little changes will grow as your neighbor sees you walking your children to school and decides to join you. Not only will you save two car trips to the school, but you have made a friend and strengthened your community in the process. Maybe if you can’t make the walk one week, your neighbor can take both kids to school. When you lead by example, there is no limit to the influence of your actions.

We have seen this at play on a global scale: A perceived demand from customers led Walmart to ban all milk that is produced by cows receiving artificial growth hormones in all U.S. locations. In the recent past, all of the fast food chains serve their burgers in Styrofoam clam shells until there was a perceived demand from customers to find a different way of serving food that was more environmentally responsible. There are many examples where people changed their buying habitats to reflect their values and previously unmovable forces were compelled to change.

Every day, people from all over the world commit to making our planet a healthier place to live through intentional actions of environmental stewardship. With the help of St. Louis Earth Day’s supporters and Festival attendees, Earth Day Network is celebrating the importance of these individual environmental acts through the Billion Acts of Green® campaign.

A Billion Acts of Green® calls for people on every continent to commit to at least one act of environmental service and register it online. Whether the gesture is simple, such as unplugging a charger, or monumental, like coordinating the installation of solar panels on your company’s building, the campaign accepts every act. St. Louis Earth Day is registering 30,000 acts of green for those who came to the St. Louis Earth Day Festival to support local businesses and area nonprofits while learning more about how to cultivate a healthy environment every day.

Did you learn something new that you are planning on implementing? Consider registering the act with the Earth Day Network. Were you one of the hundreds of people who rode a bike to the Earth Day Festival? Did you bring some hard-to-recycle items to the Recycling Extravaganza and then take the shuttle to Forest Park to join in the Earth Day celebration? Have you said NO to single-serving bottles of water or one-use shopping bags? Tell us about it!

Collectively these acts will not only have a tremendous impact on global carbon emissions but will also demonstrate the power of small every-day individual acts of environmental stewardship. To date, individuals, organizations and governments have recorded over 77 million Acts of Green. The campaign hopes to achieve A Billion Acts of Green® by the Rio +20 Earth Summit in 2012.

Just as the environment can be torn apart by singular acts of negligence, laziness and greed, so too can we mend the Earth’s wounds through singular and collective acts of courage, thoughtfulness and generosity – one act at a time. We hope that you will join us in our mission to engage the community and challenge all people to embrace the small things that we can all do to make a difference in the future well-being of our shared home. For more ideas on how to join the movement, visit the Earth Day Network’s website at act.earthday.org. With your help, we can build the world’s largest environmental service movement and launch a global referendum for change!

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