For me, for you – One action at a time for our planet

April 22 is Earth Day—a great time to think about our impact on the planet. I find myself considering what I already do to help, and trying to figure out what else I can do. The Bay Area has great recycling and compost programs. I already recycle paper goods, plastic, metal and glass. Green waste is picked up weekly with garbage and recycling. These options really cut down the amount of waste going into our landfills.

JustGive has waste, recycling and compost bins in our office. So I always try to make sure and put everything in the correct waste bin! I take the casual carpool to work to do my part to cut down on car emissions. When the carpool isn’t available, I take public transportation—the bus or BART. I shop at the farmer’s market to support local business and the environment. I bring lunch to work in re-usable containers so there isn’t trash each time I have a meal. It’s the little things I do every day—and that we can all do—that will sustain the planet. Each action makes a difference.

Even with all the easy changes I’ve already made I feel like there must be more I can do to keep the Earth healthy. Where do I get ideas about what else I can do? I can start with one of f several organizations I found that are working to save the planet:

  • Earth Day Network works to secure a health future for all of us, addressing many different aspects of environment—how the environment affects our health, greening deteriorated schools, green jobs, and activism to stop pollution.
  • National Arbor Day Foundation helps teach children and families about connecting with nature. For a small $10 membership, you plant 10 trees in our nation’s forests or get 10 trees you can plant in your yard or share with someone else. They also have many online resources available I can use with my daughter when we go exploring the great outdoors.
  • Supporting local organic farming is a great eco-consciously way to live “greener.” Find a farm in your area like Shooting Star CSA and sign up for their weekly vegetable boxes. Join me and support organic farming by shopping your local Farmer’s Market or grocery stores that carry local farms’ produce.
  • The United States Environmental Protection Agency has some tools to discover more things we can do to protect the environment. Their international program, Pick Five for the Environment, encourages each of us to choose 5 ideas and begin to take action. My thought was: Why not choose 10 or 15?

Earth Day San Francisco is the biggest Earth Day event in the Bay Area. It is a free public event to help community members learn about local and global eco-solutions. The event features an alternative vehicle exhibit, a youth eco zone, green films, eco fashion, organic food and beverages, holistic wellness choices and much more!

This month, there are many events going on around the word to protect the environment—easily check out the events in your area online!

Every change we make in our lives helps create a smaller footprint on the planet. Make a difference today by supporting organizations that work to protect our environment. When you donate, consider checking the box to make it a monthly recurring gift and walk the green talk year round!

Julia Hughes, Marketing Assistant

Giving Green on Earth Day

Give Green on Earth Day

Forty years ago today, we celebrated our first Earth Day. Approximately 20 million Americans from all walks of life joined together to honor our planet. Whether your connection to nature is as an angler in the great outdoors or a community gardener in a dedicated urban space, Earth Day is about thinking of the small—and big—ideas that help to preserve our planet. Today, there are many easy ways to go green from recycling and composting to hybrids and public transportation.

My relationship with nature began when I was a young boy. My father left his job at Bell Telephone to start Newtown Gardens, a small plant nursery. I remember romping through the giant greenhouse where he worked, the fecund smell of heating compost, the seemingly endless rows of plants. It was amazing to witness his passion for working with natural things.

No doubt influenced by that passion, I went on to work for environmental organizations – the League of Conservation Voters and the Institute for Conservation Leadership – and making a difference for environment remains something in which I believe strongly.

Giving Back on Earth Day

Earth Day 2010 is expected to have at least 1.5 billion people take part in events and programs across the globe. Imagine the impact if each one made a $10 donation to an organization that works to protect the Earth long after Earth Day is over. Here are some powerful organizations that I’m thinking about today:

Earthrights International

Katie Redford and her group, Earthrights International (ERI) (link) introduced a simple and powerful idea into the human rights and environmental justice movements: that corporations can be brought to court for their role in overseas abuse. ERI seeks to end “earth rights” abuses, to provide real solutions for real people, and to promote and protect human rights and the environment in the communities where they work.

Thimmakka

Thimmakka’s certifies green businesses through their efforts to produce less air pollution, reduce the costs of health care and landfill fees, consume and create less waste, and avoid the use of toxic chemicals. Using her connections within immigrant communities in the Bay Area, Ritu Primlani and her team have certified more than 125 restaurants. They report that, among other accomplishments, 19.4 thousand tons of solid waste (that’s about 245 loaded 737-400 Boeing jets) have been diverted from landfill.

Blackfoot Challenge

The Blackfoot Challenge is organized locally and known nationally as a model for preserving the rural character and natural beauty of a watershed. Led by landowners, their cooperative approach of focusing on the 80% that the US Fish and Wildlife Service, environmentalists, and they agree upon helped spur, in part, President Obama to announce his America’s Great Outdoors initiative.

For me, Earth Day brings me back to childhood – running through the rows of blooming flowers and climbing the mounds of wood chips. It makes me all the more happy to celebrate the day by giving back to groups whose passion to make a difference continues to inspire me. Visit us on Facebook and let us know about what groups are your passion!

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