Flickr Image: WallsTalking.org
There is no Planet B
Each April 22 the world honors International Mother Earth Day. Earth Day is a globally celebrated holiday that often extends into Earth Week – a full seven days of events focused on green awareness. Typically on April 22 men, women, and children around the world will collect garbage, plant trees, clean up coral reefs, show movies, sign petitions, and plan for a better future for our planet.
Earth Day Progress
Although Earth Day still has its detractors, organizers expect more than a billion people to observe the event – a far cry from the movement’s grassroots beginnings in 1970. Since its beginnings 44 years ago, the Earth Day movement has seen significant growth.
- 1990, Earth Day went global, with 200 million people in over 140 nations participating.
- 2000, Earth Day focused on clean energy and involved hundreds of millions of people in 184 countries and 5,000 environmental groups.
- 2009, Earth Day was renamed officially by the UN in 2009 as International Mother Earth Day.
- 2009, Disney released a documentary film called Earth that followed the migration paths of four animal families
- Today, the Earth Day Network (EDN) collaborates with more than 17,000 partners and organizations in 174 countries. According to EDN, more than 1 billion people are involved in Earth Day activities, making it “the largest secular civic event in the world.”
- 2011, 28 million trees were planted in Afghanistan by the Earth Day Network
- 2012, more than 100,000 people rode bikes in China to reduce CO2 emissions and save fuel.
How can Business Support Earth Day, Every Day
Our planet is at a turning point. The massive global migration underway now from countryside to cities demands huge investments in energy, water, materials, waste, food distribution and transportation. At the same time, we are dealing with the fight against carbon emissions, climate change, air pollutants, marine debris and contaminated ground water.
Many companies are implementing ‘e-cool-logical’ thinking as part of their strategy to be responsible global businesses. Many have begun to organize regular discussions with employees so they can suggest ideas on how the business can become more environmentally friendly. Not only does this build morale and company culture, it also may be a mentality that it taken home each evening.
- Utilize programs for public transportation to and from work
- Allow some employees to telecommute
- Use green materials and alternative heating systems when building or renovating
- Avoid using materials unnecessarily
- Encourage the use of less paper and /or reduce paper needs by printing double-sided
- Stock brands of recycled paper that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and made from 100 percent post-consumer-recycled content.
- Reuse scrap paper for message-taking instead of purchasing message pads
- Recycle paper, bottles, cans, etc.
- Save energy by turning off monitors, printers, copiers and lights at the end of each working day – and computers if possible
- Close blinds and solar screen shades during early morning and late evening to reduce heat gain from the sun
- Install timers or programmable thermostats to maximize efficiency of your air conditioning
- Contact the person responsible for supplies and ask them to help. Almost everything purchased by a business buys energy and resources, and creates waste. Research which suppliers have the least impact on the environment.
- Tell customers how about all efforts to be environmentally friendly so they can make an informed decision with whom they choose to do business
- Recycling one aluminum can save enough electricity to run a TV for 3 hours
- Recycling one glass bottle or jar saves enough electricity to light a 100-watt bulb for four hours
- Recycling one ton of plastic saves the equivalent of 1,000–2,000 gallons of gasoline
- More than 30 million trees are cut down to produce a year’s supply of newspapers
- A ton of paper made from recycled paper saves:
- 7,000 gallons of water
- Between 17 and 31 trees
- 60 pounds of air pollutants
- Recycling a pound of steel saves enough energy to light a 60-watt light bulb for 26 hours.
- One drip per second from a faucet wastes 540 gallons of water a year.
- It takes between 400 and 500 years for a Styrofoam cup to decompose. It takes an orange peel six months to decompose.
- Using recycled glass uses 40% less energy than making products from all new materials.
- What percentage of the Earth’s surface is covered with water?
- What was the top fashion of 1970, the year of the first Earth Day?
- How long does it take to manufacture, fill, sell, recycle, and then re-manufacture an aluminum beverage can?
- Measuring at the Equator, what is the circumference of the Earth? The diameter?
- What percentage of the Earth’s water is salt water?
- What percent of the Earth’s life species does the water support?
- The average depth of the ocean floor is 12,080.7 feet (3,682.2 m). At what depth is the “deep sea” said to begin?
- The top three elements the Earth is made of are Oxygen (47%), Silicon (28%) and ____________?
- Many Earth scientists, astronomers and astronauts call Earth the Blue Planet. Why?
- Anything made from organic materials needs 6 months to break down; paper and cotton also require 6 months. How long does it take to break down plastic items?
- 71 percent of the Earth’s surface
- Bell-bottom pants
- About 6 weeks total
- Nearly a 25,000 miles circumference with a diameter of the earth is 8,000 miles.
- Almost 97% is salt water
- 50 percent of Earth’s species of life
- 5,900 feet (1,800 m)—Below that depth, no sunlight penetrates the water and the sea appears completely black. This lightless area is called the Bathypelagic Zone.
- Aluminum (8%)
- Because the Earth is made of mostly water, the liquid blends in with the atmosphere to make the plant blue.
- Plastic items need 500 years to break down.
Human health is a reflection of the health of our Earth. The Earth is what we all have in common and there is NO PLANET B. Sometimes we just need to be reminded that what we all share is very special.
Last year Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, shared this message with the world on International Mother Earth Day 2013
“International Mother Earth Day is a chance to reaffirm our collective responsibility to promote harmony with nature at a time when our planet is under threat from climate change, unsustainable exploitation of natural resources and other man-made problems. When we threaten the planet, we undermine our only home – and our future survival. On this International Day, let us renew our pledges to honour and respect Mother Earth.”
When you have some time, the YouTube links below may be of value to you.
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.
~Native American Proverb