Mothers get a day, fathers get a day, Martin Luther King gets a day. And thanks to Hallmark, groundhogs and bosses even get a day. But just one day for the earth? What should we do with it? A card seem so woefully inadequate…and where would we mail it?
President Obama released a video (below) outlining the history of earth day, and more importantly, challenging all of us to take action. I had a chance to speak with Christine Glunz, the Director of Communications for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, who explained that the challenge isn’t just about doing something on earth day, it’s about a finding ways to make a deeper and more permanent commitment to environmental stewardship.
The White House site mentioned in the video links to the serve.gov site, which gives web surfers an opportunity to find events and activities for earth day, but also to share, learn about, and make long term commitments and changes that go beyond one day of action.
That’s certainly the White House’s approach.
As an example, Ms. Glunz pointed out that last week, the president launched the “America’s Great Outdoors Initiative” to promote and support innovative community-level efforts to conserve outdoor spaces that reconnect Americans to the outdoors. Interacting with nature fosters respect for nature, so this initiative could be very exciting.
She also mentioned VP Biden’s announcement of the “Retrofit Ramp-Up” program as part of the Recovery Act, which will provide $450 million in grants to 25 communities for energy efficiency projects that provide years…not just one day…of energy savings and carbon reduction.
As the President’s message pointed out, “Forty one years ago, in the city of Cleveland, people watched in horror as the Cuyahoga River – choked with debris and covered in oil – caught on fire. Images of the burning Cuyahoga shocked a nation, and it led one Wisconsin Senator the following year to organize the first Earth Day to call attention to the dangers of ignoring our environment.”
So it seems that we should approach earth day with the movie Fatal Attraction in mind: It’s not about having a passionate one day affair with the environment, but rather about the dangers of ignoring it the rest of the time.
Let’s face it…recycling, taking the bus, picking up garbage, turning off lights, or riding a bike won’t help much if you do these things just one day a year.
So on earth day, go out and appreciate nature, and what it’s worth to have trees, animals, open space, clean air, and fresh water. And then start thinking about what you can do the other 364 days year.
Because a one day (or night) affair with the earth is a bad idea. As Glenn Close’s character said, “I’m not gonna be ignored.”
**More Care2 Earth Day Coverage**
ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING EARTH DAY:
- Come Celebrate Earth Day with Care2! – Nicole Nuss
- Seven Ways to Get Involved for Earth Day – Beth Buczynski
- Get Out! For a Free Book Giveaway! – Judy Molland
- Now is the Time – Angel Flinn
- Don’t Toss that Plastic Bottle – Jennifer Mueller
- White House Initiative – Dave Rochlin
HOW ARE ANIMALS AFFECTED?
- Top Ten Endangered Species – Sharon Seltzer
- A Review of Disneynature’s Oceans – Beth Buczynski
- Eating as if the Earth Matters – Heather Moore
THINGS TO PONDER
- Four Rules To Save The Planet – Nancy Roberts
- Earth…Gay? Coming Out for Sustainability – Steve Williams
- Family Planning and Earth Day – JamieAlexis Fowler
- All My Sisters: Avoiding Breast Cancer – Angel Flinn
- Humans are the Earth’s Problem AND its Solution – Beth Buczynski
- Earth Day at 40: The Politics Erupt – Gillian Caldwell
- Gambling with Global Warming – Beth Buczynski
THOSE MAKING A DIFFERENCE
- 2010 Goldman Environmental Awards – Nancy Roberts
- Climate Champion Dr. James Hansen – Nicole Nuss
- Boyd Cohen’s Quest to Offset Carbon – Suzi Parrasch
- 350.org’s Bill McKibben – Nicole Nuss
- Reverb’s Adam Gardner – Nicole Nuss
Photo: US Govt. work http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse/