VIDEO: Sign up to make a difference with A Billion Acts of Green on Earth Day

| by Gary Wollenhaupt
VIDEO: Sign up to make a difference with A Billion Acts of Green on Earth Day

Earth Day is fast approaching, and this year organizers are asking for “A Billion Acts of Green.”

Typically celebrated April 22 each year, Earth Day is really a whole series of events that spans several weeks around the world.

Earth Day organizers are asking people to register their Act of Green so that it counts toward the goal of amassing one billion actions in advance of the 2012 U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There are more than 72 millions acts already registered.

The 2011 Earth Day builds on the spirit of the first Earth Day in 1970. It was started by Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. senator from Wisconsin, after he witnessed the ravages of the massive 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, Calif. Inspired by the student anti-war movement going on at the time, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda.

Sen. Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” to the national media. He persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican congressman, to serve as his co-chair, and recruited Denis Hayes as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land.

 Milestones in Earth Day History

1970: First Earth Day involves 20 million Americans.

1990: Earth Day goes global, with 200 million people in 141 countries involved.

2000: 5,000 environmental groups in a record 184 countries.

2010: 225,000 people gathered on the National Mall for a Climate Rally; recorded 40 million environmental service actions  toward the 2012 goal of A Billion Acts of Green; launched an international, 1 million tree planting initiative; tripled its online base to more than 900,000 community members.

As a result, on April 22, 1970, more than 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. 

Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.

For 2011, people are signing up for a huge variety of Acts of Green, from changing their light bulbs to planting trees to taking public transportation. Many communities, companies and organizations around the world are participating in Earth Day activities. You can find an Earth Day activity near you, or create your own event.

The Earth Day story continues, what will you do?

Take our Facebook poll to let us know your favorite Act of Green.

Then go to Earth Day and sign up to add your Act of Green.

For more information on Earth Day and the Billion Acts of Green campaign, watch this video:

(Photo courtesy of Kimball Office/Flickr)

What does Earth Day mean to you? Continue the conversation in the comments below!

Topics: Going Green, Sustainable Communities

Gary Wollenhaupt

Gary Wollenhaupt is an experienced writer and editor, with a background as a daily newspaper reporter as well as corporate and agency public relations and marketing. He is constantly looking for affordable green upgrades to make to his home in eastern Kentucky.

wwwView Gary Wollenhaupt's profile on LinkedIn

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