The sun is out, Earth Day is a-comin’ and oil prices are a-climbin’! Did you know that one 42-gallon drum of oil creates 19.4 gallons of gasoline? The rest goes to the creation of things like surfboards, lipstick and sunglasses..pfffttt.
But please, we all know Earth Day is one of my favorite days of the year (besides Selena’s birthday) and while there is a lot going wrong with the way we treat our resources and ecosystems, there’s a lot of people and causes to celebrate. So let’s get to it!
- Residents on Tidy Street in Brighton, U.K. are recording their daily electricity usage and recording it on a giant infographic painted on the street outside their homes. After just three weeks, residents usage has dropped by 15%; try taking a look at how you might cut back on energy usage in your own home!
- Pull out your cape and goggles! New York environmental groups are calling for average citizens to enlist as New York Water Rangers and stand up for the safety of their water. Take the pledge! From the NYTimes:
The groups, including Riverkeeper, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Catskill Mountainkeeper, are trying to recruit New York State residents to call attention to what they view as the dangers of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling as state officials write new regulations to govern such drilling.
- Powershift 2011 rocked Washington D.C. this weekend; 10,000 of my closest friends were there and engaged in the climate change movement. I attended Powershift 2009 and was able to hear some fantastic speakers and really become inspired and armed with the right tools to enact change; this year is no different. With speakers like Al Gore, EPA chief Lisa Jackson and 350.org founder Bill McKibben, people are fired up and ready for some action! Interestingly enough, there was no real major media coverage of the event; funny how that happens. From the Utopianist:
…perhaps most relevant to Powershift, we’re going to have to improve democracy — by mobilizing grassroots movements that ensure the people’s voice is heard and fighting to limit the influence that loaded corporations have over our political process, for starters. Right now, corporate interests have far more power than any citizen possibly could. And as income inequality trends have continued over the last couple decades, the rich have gotten much richer, and much more powerful.
- Why can’t we make laws like awesome Bolivia? The Latin American country is set to pass the Law of Mother Earth which will give equate humans and all living things; the law “establishes 11 new rights for nature, including the right to life, the right to pure water and clean air, and the right to not have cellular structure genetically modified.” (good.is)
- Forget Carrie and Samantha; there are SALAMANDERS in the city! Who knew? We often get hopped up on coyotes, red tailed hawks and other critters that roam our urban streets (cough because we’re overdeveloping cough) but what about the little guys? When you’re walking/hiking/biking, don’t forget to stop and take a gander.. turn over a log or two. Alex + lungless salamanders= BFF. You should too.
- We be plantin’ trees all week with the kiddies at SOLV; I was out all day today with middle schoolers planting in the wetland and forest behind their school.. in the sun! We also had our annual Earth Day event, SOLV IT, this past weekend; an estimated 6,889 volunteers participated statewide for healthy watersheds. With SOLV support, volunteers:
- Removed 69,338 pounds of mixed waste from neighborhoods and natural areas
- Recycled 1,718 pounds of plastic, glass, paper and metal
- Removed invasive non-native vegetation from approximately 16 acres of land
- Planted 1,840 native trees and shrubs in parks, on school grounds and in natural areas
- Collected and recycled 263 tires
So, I guess the real question is, what are you going to do for Earth Day, every day?