It’s Earth Day on Saturday. So What Do I Do?April 19, 2017
The mantra “Everyday is Earth Day” resonates for a lot of people living and working in the beautiful Northwest. In this neck of the woods, many of us strive to continually improve our commitments to sustainability. Still, Earth Day, which comes around once a year on April 22, can be a day to do some introspection and to set personal and organizational goals. How can you or your organization do more to have a more positive impact on the world around you?
We’re participating in EarthShare Washington’s Earth Day Challenge, which is challenging companies, schools, community groups, and individuals to enhance the environmental health of our region. Based on EarthShare’s many suggestions about how to make a difference, here are a few ideas to get the earth juices flowing:
Make one change and see where it take you
EarthShare is encouraging individuals to make one change this Earth Day. The change can be a small one, like trying a re-useable mug for your coffee fix. Or it can be a large one: say, trading in your car for a bicycle or committing to take only public transportation for a month. Whatever you decide to do, share your experience and your change on social media by using the hashtag #EarthDayChallenge.
If you don’t know what change to make, check out two useful Footprint Calculators that reveal lifestyle changes that can significantly reduce your greenhouse gas footprint. The Nature Conservancy’s Carbon Calculator, powered by CoolClimate Network, takes only a few minutes to complete and provides a number of opportunities to act. The EPA’s Household Carbon Footprint Calculator is one of the more detailed available.
Earth Day is a rich day for meaningful volunteer opportunities all over the city and region. If you want some volunteer ideas for a work party near you, check out EarthShare’s Earth Day Volunteer page on Facebook. There are hundreds of fun and engaging options for you to get your hands dirty, meet new people and organizations, or work with your colleagues on something meaningful outside of the office.
Tune-up and warm-up for Bike Everywhere Month in May.
Commuting via bicycle is one of the best ways to dramatically decrease your personal carbon footprint. Considering that cars spew out, on average, over 4,000 grams of CO2 per mile (meaning your 30 mile commute produces over 25 pounds of CO2). As part of May’s pedal-powered celebration, Cascade Bicycle Club is organizing a Washington Bikes Bike Everywhere Challenge, an online trip-tracking contest May 1-31. You can form a team and set personal and group challenges. If you’re going to #bikeeverywhere during the month of May, you may want to get your bike tuned up now!
If your businesses is in Seattle, Get on the Map!
Seattle Public Utilities’ Get on the Map campaign uses an online map of Seattle’s neighborhoods to publicly recognize businesses taking actions to cut waste, save water and energy, and reduce pollution. To be included, you need to take a minimum of five green actions. Once on the map, you can:
- Get Recognized. The Green Business Program will promote the map online, through local media and at community and business events.
- Share Your Success. Receive materials touting your place on the map, including website graphics, window clings, and a certificate from the City of Seattle.
- Get Assistance. Receive free one-on-one technical assistance to help you get on the map or darken your shade of green.
Sign the Business Climate Declaration
If you’re a Washington or Oregon business concerned about climate change, you can sign on to the Business Climate Declaration. The declaration was created by Ceres and leading regional companies to show the business community’s support for taking action to address climate change at the state and regional level. The Declaration also seeks to mobilize strong business support to advance economic and energy security. Hundreds of businesses in Oregon and Washington have already signed on. Join businesses like Nike, the Seattle Mariners, and REI by adding your voice to the growing call for a healthy climate, a more resilient economy, and better public health. Sign the Oregon Business Climate Declaration or the Washington Business Climate Declaration today!
The Facebook Event page description for this event says it all: “Science is the best method we have for understanding the world. It should be an open process, used to serve all people. If you wish to support those aims, please join us and march to support it.” Nearly ten thousand people are already signed up to march. A rally for the march begins at 10:00 am at Cal Anderson Park in the heart of Capitol Hill, Seattle. The march embarks at noon.