Earth Week 2014 Tuesday: Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day everyone! This year’s theme is “Green Cities.”

Earth Day Network describes the theme:

As the world’s population migrates to cities, and as the bleak reality of climate change becomes increasingly clear, the need to create sustainable communities is more important than ever. Earth Day 2014 will seek to do just that through its global theme: Green Cities. With smart investments in sustainable technology, forward-thinking public policy, and an educated and active public, we can transform our cities and forge a sustainable future. Nothing is more powerful than the collective action of a billion people.

This idea is not new to this blog! But it is important to notice the last sentence: Nothing is more powerful than the collective action of a billion people. If we can work together, especially in cities, we can make a difference.

The Earth Day Network has showcased a few cities that have made a difference recently! Other actions can be seen here.

  • Somerville, Massachusetts has created space for urban agriculture, a movement started by their mayor.
  • Adelaide, Australia introduced the first solar-powered bus!
  • Kansas will be installing a community solar project owned by customers which provides tax incentives for residents.
  • Oberlin, Ohio will be opening a “Green Arts District” downtown which will feature LEED certified buildings. The town is also sourcing food locally and building a green belt around the city to preserve natural forests. Oberlin is already operating on 90% renewable resources and hopes to become “carbon positive” – sequestering more carbon than it produces. Way to go, Oberlin!
Downtown Oberlin, Ohio

Thorough the EDN website, participants can participate in word-wide Earth Day events, read and share success stories, help cities go green through online activism (sometimes the best kind if you don’t have much time to dedicate!), or learn about local campaigns across the globe.

Speaking of local campaigns.. the University of Montana and Missoula area has an Earth Week calendar filled with community-oriented events! Earth Day features sustainable workshops and displays on UM’s campus. The rest of the week is filled with seminars and demonstrations and ends with Earth Service Day on Saturday the 26th. On the service day, Missoula residents can learn about climate change, attend a recycling workshop, make fences wildlife friendly, stencil storm drains (to prevent dumping), and participate in a giant recycling garage sale!

For Earth Day, I hope your city or university has a discussion about making like more sustainable. And if you can’t make it, be sure to walk to campus or take a shorter shower. As Earth Day Network says, “nothing is more powerful than the collective action of a billion people.”

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