By Olumide Idowu
More than a billion people around the world will celebrate Earth Day on April 22, 2015—the 44th anniversary of the annual day of action. Earth Day began in 1970, when 20 million people across the United States—that’s one in ten—rallied for increased protection of the environment and Earth Day began.
Earth Day is the name given to two different annual observances that are intended to raise awareness about a wide range of environmental issues and problems, and to inspire people to take personal action to address them. According to Larry West.
WHY EARTH DAY IS IMPORTANT
No matter when you celebrate Earth Day, its message about the personal responsibility we all share to “think globally and act locally” as environmental stewards of planet Earth has never been more timely or important.
Our planet is in crisis due to global warming, overpopulation, and other critical environmental issues. Every person on Earth shares the responsibility to do as much as they can to preserve the planet’s finite natural resources today and for future generations.
ONE PERSON CAN CHANGE THE WORLD
Today, the environmental problems facing the world are enormous. Earth’s finite resources are being stretched to the limit by rapid population growth, air, water and soil pollution, and much more. Global warming, spurred by our use of fossil fuels for energy and transportation as well as mass-scale agriculture and other human activities, threatens to push our planet beyond its ability to support human life unless we can meet the growing need for food, energy and economic opportunity within a sustainable environment.
POWER OF PERSONAL COMMITMENT
Each of us has the power through our daily decisions and lifestyle choices to make our homes and communities more environmentally friendly, but our power doesn’t end there.
There is no question that solving many of the problems currently threatening our global environment will require the resources and enlightened action of government and industry. Yet, because government and industry exist to serve the needs of their citizens and customers, how you live your life, the demands you and your neighbors make for products and services that help to preserve rather than erode the environment, will influence those actions and, ultimately, help to determine the future of planet Earth and the fate of mankind.
Anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
So make some changes in the way you live your life. Use less energy and fewer resources, create less waste, and join with others who share your beliefs to urge government representatives and business executives to follow your lead toward a more sustainable world.
SAVE THE PLANT IN 5 WAYS
You may not be able to reduce global warming, end pollution and save endangered species single-handed, but by choosing to live an earth-friendly lifestyle you can do a lot every day to help achieve those goals.
And by making wise choices about how you live, and the amount of energy and natural resources you consume, you send a clear message to businesses, politicians and government agencies that value you as a customer, constituent and citizen. This five tips can help you to protect the environment and save Planet Earth.
1. DRIVE LESS, DRIVE SMART: Every time you leave your car at home you reduce air pollution, lower greenhouse gas emissions, improve your health and save money.
2. EAT YOUR VEGETABLES: Eating less meat and more fruits, grains and vegetables can help the environment more than you may realize.
3. SWITCH TO REUSABLE SHOPPING BAGS: Producing plastic bags uses a lot of natural resources, and most end up as litter that fouls landscapes, clogs waterways, and kills thousands of marine mammals that mistake the ubiquitous bags for food.
4. CHANGE YOUR LIGHT BULBS: Compact fluorescent light bulbs and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are more energy efficient and less expensive to use than the traditional incandescent bulbs invented by Thomas Edison.
5. PAY YOUR BILLS ONLINE: Many banks, utilities and other businesses now offer their customers the option of paying bills online, eliminating the need to write and mail paper checks or to keep paper records.
Celebrating Earth Day will ring a bell and remind us all how we need to take our planet very serious. This process starts with one person at a time. …”It’s Our Time To Lead”
Idowu, Team Lead for Climate Wednesday writes from Lagos, Nigeria