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Earth Day 2014: Green Cities and green selves

Image via pacenet.org
Image via pacenet.org

Today marks the 44th anniversary of Earth Day, the day dedicated to celebrating and to actively working to better and preserve our planet. According to the Earth Day Network, the very first Earth Day gathered more than 20 million Americans to take to the streets in demonstrations on the 22nd of April in 1970. When groups and individuals from coast-to-coast convened to speak up for for a healthy, sustainable environment it was clear that they had not been working alone to “fight against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife.”

 

green-citiesAs more than half of our planet’s population currently inhabits urban environments, this year’s Earth Day theme is Green Cities, a push to help urban spaces evolve into environmentally sustainable places for people to work and live. Every year on Earth Day, more than one billion people take part in activities and gestures to help make the planet a better place according to the UN’s Mother Earth Day webpage. Here are a few ways that you can join this growing community of environmentally concerned citizens.

 

The Earth Day Network’s website offers an environmental footprint calculator to see just how much your lifestyle choices have an effect on the world.FreeGreatPicture.com-20194-green-cars

The drive (no pun intended) towards creating greener cities can begin with simple efforts to carpool, ride public
transportation, or if possible, to walk or ride a bike to school and work. Be a role model for your kids. Make meals using locally grown vegetables and sustainably produced meats, plant a garden, or strategically toss some seed bombs.

Raise awareness in your family by listening to some of these Parents’ Choice Award-winning albums, The Storm King by the late, great Pete Seeger, One Earth So Green and Round and The Mountain Came Alive. Try Endango a board game where kids learn about protecting the environment the Sustainable Earth Lab is filled with hands on experiments and activities that help kids understand environmental problems and what sustainable practices can do to help overcome them.

For more inspiration check out our Earth Day Pinterest board and these websites, the HuffPost has “non-annoying” ideas for activists and “slacktivists” alike, while the Environmental Protection Agency has a more serious approach.