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    What To Do On Earth Day!

    Four days out from Earth Day, and I’m wondering how to celebrate it in 2012. Scan Pinterest for all the cute Earth Day icons? Like some Facebook status that expresses appreciation for the environment? It seems so removed. I don’t go out and plant vegetation. I don’t volunteer to clean up my local community. I recycle and try to reuse materials as much as I can, but I never go out of my way to celebrate our planet more than that. This year, I want treat Earth Day differently. I must remind myself that watching ‘Planet Earth,’ while enjoyable, does not count as significant environmental activism. Rather than sit behind a screen idly, I’ve found a few Earth Dayevents and environmental organizations to get me excited (and even outside) on Earth Day. Hopefully, these events will also inspire you to take action as well as have a voice about the health of our planet.

    Loving their edgy website which explains that 350.org is a “global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis.” Focusing on climate safety, 350.org is campaigning for the scientific recommendation that we must reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from its current level of 392 parts per million to below 350 ppm. 350.org has organized over 5200 rallies in demonstrations in 181 countries. Focusing on youth and students, it allows site users to create their own event and get like-minded activists together. Check them out for their upcoming “Climate Impacts” day: http://www.350.org/en

    Earth Day Product Specials and Releases
    Retailers are dishing out energy-efficient style for Earth Day. GrouponAmazonSprint and many others are doing their part in offering deals and new products which are eco-friendly. Groupon is slashing prices on reusable goods; Sprint has gone green with the LG Optimus Elite; Amazon is making Kindle Book ‘A Course in Happiness’ available for free on Earth Day; Phillips Electronics is offering 60-watt replacement bulb that has an impressive lifespan of 20 years; and The Huffington Post has the low-down on Earth Day giveaways from Target, Origins Skin Care and Whole Foods.

    Youth March on the National Mall
    The iMatter Movement is organizing an Earth Day March in Washington, D.C. The event description certainly got my attention: “Youth under 24 represent nearly 40% of the global population, and will suffer the most from inaction. As major stakeholders in the climate crisis, we have the moral authority to demand action.” Interested participants should know the event is on April 22 at 11:30 a.m. at 12th St. and Madison Dr. NW on the National Mall at the iMatter Tent. To learn more: http://bit.ly/HTiadf 

    Environmental Protection Agency Events
    As confessed earlier, I used to think that watching sad polar bears on dwindling ice rafts was enough for recognizing Earth Day. Second excuse? I used to claim that no Earth Day activities were happening near me. Not anymore! The EPA is savvy enough to have a site where I can just type in my zip code and see what green events are going on around me. First hit in Maryland? Helping out the dragonflies in a local park. Who doesn’t want to hang out with these beautiful winged creatures and help the planet at the same time? Check out what majestic, earth-boosting events are going on around you: http://1.usa.gov/bIl7Ig

    It IS So Easy to Act Green
    The Earth Day Network is approaching almost 1 billion acts of green; whether it’s pledging a volunteer event or a donation, even something as specific as “I pledge to eat locally this year.” You can sign-up via Facebook to show your friends what you’re doing in your community. The site also allows you see to see online and state-wide events, as well as connect with other local activists on their leader board:  http://act.earthday.org/

    Student Environmental Action Coalition
    The SEAC provides a network that allows students across the world to build a network of diverse grassroots communities “by sharing stories, skills, knowledge and radical analysis to dismantle destructive systems, and replace them with sustainable communities of resistance.” SEAC connects members with local environmental organizations and projects to improve change. Find out if a chapter is near you: http://www.seac.org/

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    Kelly Holleran

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

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